Bisulfite induces tandem double CC-->TT mutations in double-stranded DNA. 2. Kinetics of cytosine deamination.
Deamination of cytosine to uracil in double-stranded DNA (ds DNA) by sodium bisulfite has been monitored with a sensitive genetic assay. In this system, reversion of a mutant in the lacZ alpha gene coding sequence of bacteriophage M13mp2 C141 was detected by employing an ung- bacterial strain defective in the enzyme uracil glycosylase. Within the 4-base target, it is possible to measure the rates of induction of C-->T, C-->A, C-->G, and CC-->TT mutations in DNA that has been incubated at physiological temperature and pH and then transfected into ung+ and ung- E. coli cells, respectively, for amplification and detection of the mutation. For concentrations of bisulfite from 1 to 50 mM, the reversion frequency in ung- cells increased linearly with time of incubation. The most interesting features of the bisulfite reaction were as follow: (1) Mutations were reduced 5-fold in ung+ cells, indicating ung is involved in repair of bisulfite-treated transforming DNA. (2) Sequencing of 157 revertants revealed that C-->T and tandem CC-->TT transition mutations comprised 100% of the mutations scored. (3) A unique finding was that, at the highest concentrations and longest incubation times, almost every mutant obtained in ds DNA exposed to bisulfite was found to be a CC-->TT tandem double mutation. (4) The high frequency of tandem double mutants is inconsistent with two random, independent mutational events and, coupled with the observed ung dependence, lends support to the concept of catalytic deamination, wherein bisulfite induces deamination in contiguous cytosines by a concerted mechanism.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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