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Genetics. 1998 Apr;148(4):1647-54.

Topical reversion at the HIS1 locus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A tale of three mutants.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Mutants of the HIS1 locus of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are suitable reporters for spontaneous reversion events because most reversions are topical, that is, within the locus itself. Thirteen mutations of his1-1 now have been identified with respect to base sequence. Revertants of three mutants and their spontaneous reversion rates are presented: (1) a chain termination mutation (his1-208, née his1-1) that does not revert by mutations of tRNA loci and reverts only by intracodonic suppression; (2) a missense mutation (his1-798, née his1-7) that can revert by intragenic suppression by base substitutions of any sort, including a back mutation as well as one three-base deletion; and (3) a -1 frameshift mutation (his1-434, née his1-19) that only reverts topically by +1 back mutation, +1 intragenic suppression, or a -2 deletion. Often the +1 insertion is accompanied by base substitution events at one or both ends of a run of A's. Missense suppressors of his1-798 are either feeders or nonfeeders, and at four different locations within the locus, a single base substitution encoding an amino acid alteration will suffice to turn the nonfeeder phenotype into a feeder phenotype. Late-appearing revertants of his1-798 were found to be slowly growing leaky mutants rather than a manifestation of adaptive mutagenesis. Spontaneous revertants of his1-208 and his1-434 produced no late-arising colonies.

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