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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1998 Oct;23(2):159-66.

Mutation of the mismatch repair gene hMSH2 and hMSH6 in a human T-cell leukemia line tolerant to methylating agents.

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Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata (IDI-IRCCS), Rome, Italy.


Cell killing by monofunctional methylating agents is due mainly to the formation of adducts at the O6 position of guanine. These methyl adducts are removed from DNA by the O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (OGAT). The mechanism by which O6-methylguanine (O6meG) induces cell death in OGAT-deficient cells requires a functional mismatch repair system (MRS). We have previously reported that depletion of OGAT activity in the human T-cell leukemic urkat line does not sensitize these cells to the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of the methylating triazene temozolomide (Tentori et al., 1995). We therefore decided to establish whether the tolerance of Jurkat cells to O6meG could be associated with a defect in MRS. The results of mismatch repair complementation studies indicated that Jurkat cells are defective in hMutSalpha, a heterodimer of the hMSH2 and hMSH6 proteins. Cytogenetic analysis of two Jurkat clones revealed a deletion in the short arm of chromosome region 2p15-21, indicating an allelic loss of both hMSH2 and hMSH6 genes. DNA sequencing revealed that exon 13 of the second hMSH2 allele contains a base substitution at codon 711, which changes an arginine to a termination codon (CGA-->TGA). In addition, a (C)8-->(C)7 frameshift mutation in codon 1085-1087 of the hMSH6 gene was also found. Although both hMSH2 and hMSH6 transcripts could be detected in Jurkat clones, the respective polypeptides were absent. Taken together, these data indicate that tolerance of Jurkat cells to methylation damage is linked to a loss of functional hMutSalpha.

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