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2004 | 51 | 3 | 683-692
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Spontaneous mutagenesis in exponentially growing and stationary-phase, umuDC-proficient and -deficient, Escherichia coli dnaQ49.

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Spontaneous mutations arise not only in exponentially growing bacteria but also in non-dividing or slowly dividing stationary-phase cells. In the latter case mutations are called adaptive or stationary-phase mutations. High spontaneous mutability has been observed in temperature sensitive Escherichia coli dnaQ49 strain deficient in 3'→5' proofreading activity assured by the ε subunit of the main replicative polymerase, Pol III. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the dnaQ49 mutation and deletion of the umuDC operon encoding polymerase V (Pol V) on spontaneous mutagenesis in growing and stationary-phase E. coli cells. Using the argE3OC →Arg+ reversion system in the AB1157 strain, we found that the level of growth-dependent and stationary-phase Arg+ revertants was significantly increased in the dnaQ49 mutant at the non-permissive temperature of 37°C. At this temperature, in contrast to cultures grown at 28°C, SOS functions were dramatically increased. Deletion of the umuDC operon in the dnaQ49 strain led to a 10-fold decrease in the level of Arg+ revertants in cultures grown at 37°C and only to a 2-fold decrease in cultures grown at 28°C. Furthermore, in stationary-phase cultures Pol V influenced spontaneous mutagenesis to a much lesser extent than in growing cultures. Our results indicate that the level of Pol III desintegration, dependent on the temperature of incubation, is more critical for spontaneous mutagenesis in stationary-phase dnaQ49 cells than the presence or absence of Pol V.
Physical description
  • Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland
  • Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland
  • Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland
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