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Transcription increases the deletion frequency of long CTG.CAG triplet repeats from plasmids in Escherichia coli.

By R P Bowater, A Jaworski, J E Larson, P Parniewski and R D Wells


Induction of transcription into long CTG.CAG repeats contained on plasmids in Escherichia coli is shown to increase the frequency of deletions within the repeat sequences. This elevated genetic instability was detected because active transcription into the triplet repeat influenced the growth transitions of the host cell, allowing advantageous growth for cells harboring plasmids with deleted repeat sequences. The variety of deletion products observed in separate cultures suggests that transcription altered the metabolism of the DNA in a manner that produced random length changes in the repeat sequence. For cultures containing plasmids without active transcription into the triplet repeat, or those maintained in exponential growth, deletions occurred within the repeat at a lower frequency (5-20-fold lower). In these incubations the extent of deletions was proportional to the number of cell divisions and many repeat lengths were observed within each culture, suggesting that the decrease in average repeat length at long incubation times was due to multiple small deletions. These observations show that deletions within long CTG.CAG repeats contained on plasmids in E.coli occur via more than one pathway and their level of genetic instability is altered by the enzymatic processes occurring upon the DNA

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1093/nar/25.14.2861
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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