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J Bacteriol. 1990 Mar;172(3):1232-40.

Specific A/G-to-C.G mismatch repair in Salmonella typhimurium LT2 requires the mutB gene product.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201.


An assay has been developed that permits analysis of repair of A/G mismatches to C.G base pairs in cell extracts of Salmonella typhimurium LT2. This A/G mismatch repair is independent of ATP, dam methylation, and mutS gene function. The gene product of mutB has been shown to be involved in the dam-independent pathway through the in vitro assay. Moreover, specific DNA-protein complexes and an endonuclease can be detected in S. typhimurium extracts by using DNA fragments containing an A/G mismatch. These activities are not observed with substrates which have a T/G mismatch or no mismatch. The S. typhimurium endonuclease, like the A/G endonuclease found in Escherichia coli (A-L. Lu and D.-Y. Chang, Cell 54:805-812, 1988), makes incisions at the first phosphodiester bond 3' to and the the second phosphodiester bond 5' to the dA of the A/G mismatch. No incision site was detected on the other DNA strand. Extracts prepared from mutB mutants cannot form A/G mismatch-specific DNA-protein complexes and do not contain the A/G endonuclease activity. Thus the A/G mismatch specific binding and nicking activities are probably involved in the A/G mismatch repair pathway. Preliminary analysis of the mutational spectrum of the mutB strain has indicated that this mutator allele causes an increase in C.G-to-A.T transversions without affecting the frequencies of other transversion or transition events. In addition, the mutB gene has been mapped to the 64-min region of the S. typhimurium chromosome. Together, this biochemical and genetic evidence suggests that the mutB gene product of S. typhimurium is the homolog of the E. coli micA (and/or mutY) gene product.

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