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Mutat Res. 1989 Mar;217(2):117-22.

Conditional lethality of the recA441 and recA730 mutants of Escherichia coli deficient in DNA polymerase I.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.


E. coli strains bearing the recA441 mutation and various mutations in the polA gene resulting in enzymatically well-defined deficiencies of DNA polymerase I have been constructed. It was found that the recA441 strains bearing either the polA1 or polA12 mutation causing deficiency of the polymerase activity of pol I are unable to grow at 42 degrees C on minimal medium supplemented with adenine, i.e., when the SOS response is continuously induced in strains bearing the recA441 mutation. Under these conditions the inhibition of DNA synthesis is followed in recA441 polA12 by DNA degradation and loss of cell viability. A similar lethal effect is observed with the recA730 polA12 mutant. The recA441 strain bearing the polA107 mutation resulting in the deficiency of the 5'-3' exonuclease activity of pol I shows normal growth under conditions of continuous SOS response. We postulate that constitutive expression of the SOS response leads to an altered requirement for the polymerase activity of pol I.

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