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Mutat Res. 1986 Nov;163(2):157-65.

Hypersensitivity of Drosophila mei-41 mutants to hydroxyurea is associated with reduced mitotic chromosome stability.


6 mutant alleles of the mei-41 locus in Drosophila melanogaster are shown to cause hypersensitivity to hydroxyurea in larvae. The strength of that sensitivity is directly correlated with the influence of the mutant alleles on meiosis in that: alleles exhibiting a strong meiotic effect (mei-41D2, mei-41D5, mei-41D7) are highly sensitive; alleles with negligible meiotic effects (mei-41(104)D1, mei-41(104)D2) are moderately sensitive and an allele which expresses meiotic effects only under restricted conditions (mei-41D9) has an intermediate sensitivity. This sensitivity is not a general feature of strong postreplication repair-deficient mutants, because mutants with that phenotype from other loci do not exhibit sensitivity (mus(2)205A1, mus(3)302D1, mus(3)310D1). The observed lethality is not due to hypersensitivity of DNA synthesis in mei-41 larvae to hydroxyurea as assayed by tritiated thymidine incorporation. Lethality is, however, potentially attributable to an abnormal enhancement of chromosomal aberrations by hydroxyurea in mutant mei-41 larvae. Both in vivo and in vitro exposure of neuroblast cells to hydroxyurea results in an increase in 3 types of aberrations which is several fold higher in mei-41 tissue. Since hydroxyurea disrupts DNA synthesis, these results further implicate the mei-41 locus in DNA metabolism and provide an additional tool for an elucidation of its function. The possible existence of additional genes of this nature is suggested by a more modest sensitivity to hydroxyurea which has been detected in two stocks carrying mutagen-sensitive alleles of alternate genes.

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