Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 1992 Dec 24;71(7):1073-80.

High frequency mutagenesis by a DNA methyltransferase.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kenneth Norris, Jr., Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


HpaII methylase (M. HpaII), an example of a DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase, was found to induce directly a high frequency of C-->U transition mutations in double-stranded DNA. A mutant pSV2-neo plasmid, constructed with an inactivating T-->C transition mutation creating a CCGG site, was incubated with M. HpaII in the absence of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). This caused an approximately 10(4)-fold increase in the rate of reversion when the mutant neo plasmid was transformed into bacteria lacking uracil-DNA glycosylase. The mutation frequency was very sensitive to SAM concentration and was reduced to background when the concentration of the methyl donor exceeded 300 nM. The data support current models for the formation of a covalent complex between the methyltransferase and cytosine. They also suggest that the occurrence of mutational hot spots at CpG sites may not always be due to spontaneous deamination of 5-methylcytosine, but might also be initiated by enzymatic deamination of cytosine and proceed through a C-->U-->T pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center