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J Biol Chem. 1990 Jan 5;265(1):26-33.

Isolation of temperature-sensitive cell cycle mutants from mouse FM3A cells. Characterization of mutants with special reference to DNA replication.

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Department of Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


A large number of mutants that are temperature sensitive (ts) for growth have been isolated from mouse mammary carcinoma FM3A cells by an improved selection method consisting of cell synchronization and short exposures to restrictive temperature. The improved method increased the efficiency of isolating DNA ts mutants, which showed a rapid decrease in DNA-synthesizing ability after temperature shift-up. Sixteen mutants isolated by this and other methods were selected for this study. Flow microfluorometric analysis of these mutants cultured at a nonpermissive temperature (39 degrees C) for 16 h indicated that five clones were arrested in the G1 to S phase of the cell cycle, six clones were in the S to G2 phase, and two clones were arrested in the G2 phase. The remaining three clones exhibited 8C DNA content after incubation at 39 degrees C for 28 h, indicating defects in mitosis or cytokinesis. These mutants were classified into 11 complementation groups. All the mutants except for those arrested in the G2 phase and those exhibiting defects in mitosis or cytokinesis showed a rapid decrease in DNA synthesis after temperature shift-up without a decrease in RNA and protein synthesis. The polyomavirus DNA cell-free replication system, which consists of polyomavirus large tumor antigen and mouse cell extracts, was used for further characterization of these DNA ts mutants. Among these ts mutants, only the tsFT20 strain, which contains heat-labile DNA polymerase alpha, was unable to support the polyomavirus DNA replication. Analysis by DNA fiber autoradiography revealed that DNA chain elongation rates of these DNA ts mutants were not changed and that the initiation of DNA replication at the origin of replicons was impaired in the mutant cells.

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