Targeted gene evolution in Escherichia coli using a highly error-prone DNA polymerase I.


We present a system for random mutagenesis in Escherichia coli for the evolution of targeted genes. To increase error rates of DNA polymerase I (Pol I) replication, we introduced point mutations in three structural domains that govern Pol I fidelity. Expression of error-prone Pol I in vivo results in strong mutagenesis of a target sequence encoded in a Pol I-dependent plasmid (8.1 x 10-4 mutations per bp, an 80,000-fold increase), with a preference for plasmid relative to chromosome sequence. Mutagenesis is maximal in cultures maintained at stationary phase. Mutations are evenly distributed and show a variety of base pair substitutions, predominantly transitions. Mutagenesis extends at least 3 kb beyond the 400-500 nt reportedly synthesized by Pol I. We demonstrate that our error-prone Pol I can be used to generate enzymes with distinct properties by generating TEM-1 beta-lactamase mutants able to hydrolyze a third-generation lactam antibiotic, aztreonam. Three different mutations contribute to aztreonam resistance. Two are found in the extended-spectrum beta-lactamases most frequently identified in clinical isolates, and the third (G276R) has not been previously described. Our system of targeted mutagenesis in E. coli should have an impact on enzyme-based applications in areas such as synthetic chemistry, gene therapy, and molecular biology. Given the structural conservation between polymerases, this work should also provide a reference for altering the fidelity of other polymerases.




new topics/pols set partial results complete validated


No results available for this paper.

Entry validated by:

Log in to edit reference All References

Using Polbase tables:


Tables may be sorted by clicking on any of the column titles. A second click reverses the sort order. <Ctrl> + click on the column titles to sort by more than one column (e.g. family then name).


It is also possible to filter the table by typing into the search box above the table. This will instantly hide lines from the table that do not contain your search text.