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J Mol Biol. 1984 Mar 5;173(3):273-91.

Changes in DNA base sequence induced by targeted mutagenesis of lambda phage by ultraviolet light.


In targeted mutagenesis of lambda phage by ultraviolet light, the mutations are caused by radiation-induced lesions in the phage DNA. Of 62 mutations in the lambda cI gene that were sequenced, 41 (63%) of the targeted mutations were transitions, with similar numbers of C X G to T X A and T X A to C X G base changes. The remaining 21 mutations were about equally divided among eight transversions, seven frameshifts (5 additions and 2 deletions), and six double events with either two nearby base changes or a base change and a nearby frameshift. Of the 62 mutations, 60 could be associated with -Pyr-Pyr- sequences in the DNA, sites of likely photoproducts. For more information on this point, lambda phage were irradiated with 313 nm light in the presence of acetophenone, for which the major photoproduct is reported to be the thymine-thymine cyclobutyl dimer, with no measurable Pyr(6-4)Pyo photoproducts. Of 22 mutations sequenced, 19 were transversions and only one was a transition, permitting the conclusion that thymine-thymine cyclobutyl dimers are not the primary cause of ultraviolet light-induced transitions. A consideration of all the data strongly suggests that Pyr(6-4)Pyo photoproducts are mutagenic lesions.

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