Characterization of revertants derived from a mouse DNA temperature-sensitive mutant strain, tsFT20, which contains heat-labile DNA polymerase alpha activity.

Abstract:

One spontaneous and four N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine-induced revertants of a mouse FM3A mutant, tsTF20, which has heat-labile DNA polymerase alpha activity and cannot grow at 39 degrees C, were isolated and characterized with respect to the thermolability of their DNA polymerase alpha activity, the intracellular level of enzyme activity, growth rate, cell cycle progression, and frequency of initiation of DNA replication at the origin of replicons. DNA polymerase alpha activity in the extracts from the revertant cells showed partial recovery of heat stability. The intracellular level of enzyme activity of the revertant cells was lower than that of wild-type cells even at 33 degrees C. The level of enzyme activity in the revertant cells decreased considerably after a temperature upshift to 39 degrees C, but the DNA synthesizing ability of these cells did not decrease as much as the level of enzyme activity. The growth rates of the wild-type and revertant lines were almost the same at 33 degrees C. At 39 degrees C, the rate for the wild-type increased considerably compared to that at 33 degrees C, while little difference in the growth rates of the revertant lines was observed at the two temperatures. Therefore, the doubling times of the revertant cells were relatively increased compared to those of wild-type cells cultured at the restrictive temperature. Flow microfluorometric analysis and cell cycle analysis to measure labeled mitosis revealed that the increase in the doubling time was due mainly to the increase in the duration of the S phase. Analysis of the center-to-center distance between replicons by DNA fiber autoradiography indicated that the frequency of replicon initiation per unit length DNA at a given time was reduced in the revertant cells growing at 39 degrees C.

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