DNA sequence effects on single base deletions arising during DNA polymerization in vitro by Escherichia coli Klenow fragment polymerase.

Genetics (1994), Volume 136, Page 709


Most single base deletions detected after DNA polymerization in vitro directed by either Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I or its Klenow fragment are opposite Pu in the template. The most frequent mutations were previously found to be associated with the consensus template context 5'-PyTPu-3'. In this study, the predictive power of the consensus sequence on single base deletion frequencies was directly tested by parallel comparison of mutations arising in four related DNAs differing by a single base. G, a deletion hotspot within the template context 5'-TTGA-3', was substituted by each of the 3 other bases. Previous studies had shown that deletions opposite the G were frequent but that deletions opposite its neighboring A were never detected. Based on the predictions of the consensus, the substitution of T for G should produce frequent deletions opposite the neighboring A due to its new 5'-TTTA-3' template context. This prediction was fulfilled; no deletions of this A were detected in the other templates. The consensus further predicted that deletions opposite template C would be lower than those opposite either A or G at the same site and this prediction was also fulfilled. The C substitution also produced a new hotspot for 1 bp deletions 14 bp away. The new hotspot depends on quasi-palindromic misalignment of the newly synthesized DNA strand during polymerization; accurate, but ectopically templated synthesis is responsible for this mutagenesis. Mutations templated by quasi-palindromic misalignments have previously been recognized when they produced complex sequence changes; here we show that this mechanism can produce frequent single base deletions. The unique stimulation of misalignment mutagenesis by the C substitution in the template is consistent with the singular ability of C at that site to contribute to extended complementary pairing during the DNA misalignment that precedes mutagenesis.




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