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Biochemistry. 2004 Dec 21;43(50):15929-35.

Mechanism of frameshift (deletion) generated by acetylaminofluorene-derived DNA adducts in vitro.

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Laboratory of Chemical Biology, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794-8651, USA.


We have investigated the mechanism of frameshift (deletion) mutagenesis induced by acetylaminofluorene- (AAF-) derived DNA adducts. dG-AAF-modified oligodeoxynucleotides, with different bases positioned 5' to the lesion, were annealed to (32)P-labeled 13-mer primers and then used in primer extension reactions catalyzed by the 3'-->5' exonuclease-free Klenow fragment of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I. When the dNMP positioned opposite dG-AAF could pair with its complementary base at the 5' flanking position, single-base deletions were produced at high frequency. Similarly, when the complementary base was two positions 5' to the dG-AAF, two-base deletions occurred. The relative frequency of base insertions opposite dG-AAF followed the order dCMP > dAMP > dGMP > dTMP; the frequency of dNTP insertion opposite the lesion paralleled the formation of frameshift deletions. When a template designed to induce three-base deletions was used for translesion synthesis catalyzed by the exo(-) Klenow fragment, the expected three-base deletion was formed. When dG-AAF-modified templates containing iterated bases 5' to the lesion were annealed to primers with the complementary dNMP positioned opposite the lesion, the dNMP inserted opposite the dG-AAF tended to pair with the complementary base 5' to the lesion, thereby forming shorter deletions. Taken together, these results support the molecular mechanism for frameshift deletion proposed earlier by Shibutani and Grollman in which direct base insertion precedes misalignment [(1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 11703].

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