Base substitution mutagenesis by terminal transferase: its role in somatic mutagenesis.

Snow ET, Kunkel TA, Loeb LA
Mutation research (1987), Volume 180, Page 137
PubMed entry


We have addressed the possibility of terminal transferase involvement ...
We have addressed the possibility of terminal transferase involvement in somatic mutagenesis and the creation of N-region diversity, by measuring the ability of TdT to enhance single-base substitution mutagenesis during in vitro DNA synthesis. Using 3 independent assays we find that terminal transferase produces only a small increase in base-substitution mutagenesis when assayed in the presence of DNA polymerase-beta. In the presence of either polymerase-alpha or E. coli polymerase-I, however, no detectable increase in TdT-induced mutagenesis is seen. Furthermore, in an assay capable of detecting a variety of mutational events, terminal transferase primarily produces complex addition/deletion mutations, as well as a few multiple, tightly-clustered, single-base mutations. We conclude that the majority of the scattered single-base changes that occur during antibody gene differentiation are not catalyzed by terminal transferase, but instead result from another error-prone DNA synthetic process (possibly utilizing DNA polymerase-beta).




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