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Mol Microbiol. 1998 May;28(4):719-27.

Replication strand preference for deletions associated with DNA palindromes.

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Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK.


We have isolated and sequenced a set of deletions stimulated by DNA palindromes in Escherichia coli. All of the deletions are asymmetric with respect to the parental sequence and have occurred at short direct repeats. This is consistent with deletion by strand slippage during DNA replication. The orientation of the asymmetry in such deletion products is diagnostic of the direction of the strand slippage event. It is therefore also diagnostic of its occurrence on the leading or lagging strand of the replication fork when the direction of replication is known. In all cases in which the orientation of the asymmetry could be determined with respect to DNA replication, the products were consistent with a preference for deletion on the lagging strand of the fork. The data include replication slippage in three situations: on the chromosome of E. coli, in bacteriophage lambda and in high-copy-number pUC-based plasmids.

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