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Mutat Res. 1985 Apr;149(2):193-207.

The relationship between reaction kinetics and mutagenic action of monofunctional alkylating agents in higher eukaryotic systems. IV. The effects of the excision-defective mei-9L1 and mus(2)201D1 mutants on alkylation-induced genetic damage in Drosophila.


Repair-defective mutants of Drosophila melanogaster which identify two major DNA excision repair loci have been examined for their effects on alkylation-induced mutagenesis using the sex-linked recessive lethal assay as a measure of genotoxic endpoint. The alkylating agents (AAs) chosen for comparative analysis were selected on the basis of their reaction kinetics with DNA and included MMS, EMS, MNU, DMN, ENU, DEN and ENNG. Repair-proficient males were treated with the AAs and mated with either excision-defective mei-9L1 or mus(2)201D1 females or appropriate excision-proficient control females. The results of the present work suggest that a qualitative and quantitative relationship exists between the nature and the extent of chemical modification of DNA and the induction of of genetic alterations. The presence of either excision-defective mutant can enhance the frequency of mutation (hypermutability) and this hypermutability can be correlated with the Swain-Scott constant S of specific AAs such that as the SN1 character of the DNA alkylation reaction increases, the difference in response between repair-deficient and repair-proficient females decreases. The order of hypermutability of AAs with mei-9L1 relative to mei-9+ is MMS greater than MNU greater than DMN = EMS greater than iPMS = ENU = DEN = ENNG. When the percentage of lethal mutations induced in mei-9L1 females are plotted against those determined for control females, straight lines of different slopes are obtained. These mei-9L1/mei-9+ indices are: MMS = 7.6, MNU = 5.4, DMN = 2.4, EMS = 2.4 and iPMS = ENU = DEN = ENNG = 1. An identical order of hypermutability with similar indices is obtained for the mus(2)201 mutants: MMS(7.3) greater than MNU (5.4) greater than EMS(2.0) greater than ENU(1.1). Thus, absence of excision repair function has a significant effect on mutation production by AAs efficient in alkylating N-atoms in DNA but no measurable influence on mutation production by AAs most efficient in alkylating O-atoms in DNA. The possible nature of these DNA adducts has been discussed in relation to repair of alkylated DNA. In another series of experiments, the effect on alkylation mutagenesis of mei-9L1 was studied in males, by comparing mutation induction in mei-9L1 males vs. activity in Berlin K (control). Although these experiments suggested the existence of DNA repair in postmeiotic cells during spermatogenesis, no quantitative comparisons could be made.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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