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Mutat Res. 1975 Jan;27(1):27-44.

Comparative analysis of deletion and base-change mutabilities of Escherichia coli B strains differing in DNA repair capacity (wild-type, uvrA-, polA-, recA-) by various mutagens.


Dose-response curves were compared for deletions [ColBR (resistant to colicin B) mutations being more than 80% deletions] and base changes (reversion of argFam to prototrophy argplus) induced in the same set of E. coli strains (wild-type for DNA repair, uvrA-, polA- and recA-) by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG), ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), hydroxylamine (HA), 4-nitroquinoline I-oxide (4NQO), mitomycin C (MTC, UV and X-rays. All these agents induced deletions as well as base changes in the wild-type strain. Thus chemical mutagenesis differed in E. coli and bacteriophages in vitro, for HA, NTG, EMS and perhaps UV produced only point mutations in phage Tr. The patterns of deletion and base-change mutability in E. coli were surprisingly similar. (I) The recombination less recA- strain was mutable by only three (NTG, EMS, HA) of the seven mutagens for either deletions or base changes. (2) The uvrA- strain, unable to excise pyrimidine dimers, was very highly mutable by 4NQO and UV but immutable by MTC for both deletions and base changes. (3) The polA- strain, defective in DNA polymerase I due to a non-suppressible mutation, was very highly mutable by HA and highly mutable by MTC and 4NQO for both deletions and base changes but was highly mutable only for deletions by UV and X-rays, remaining normally mutable by the other agents for both deletions and base changes despite its high sensitivity to their inactivating action. We conclude that errors in the recA-dependent repair of induced DNA damage (after 4NQO, MTC, UV and X-rays) or errors in replication enhanced by damage to the replication system or to the template strands (after NTG, EMS, and HA) give rise to deletions as well as to base changes. From a comparative analysis of 14 dose-response curves for deletions and base changes, we conclude that the order of mutagenic efficiency relative to killing is (EMS, NTG) greater than (UV, 4NQO) greater than HA greater than (X-rays, MTC), and that X-rays, 4NQO, HA and MTC induce more ColBR deletions than Argplus base changes, whereas UV and EMS induce ColBR deletions and Argplus base changes at nearly equal rates and the specificity of NTG is intermediate between these two types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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