We have examined the mutational specificity of 1-nitroso-8-nitropyrene (1,8-NONP), an activated metabolite of the carcinogen 1,8-dinitropyrene, in the lacI gene of Escherichia coli strains which differ with respect to nucleotide excision repair (±ΔuvrB) and MucA/B-mediated error-prone translesion synthesis (±pKM101). Several different classes of mutation were recovered, of which frameshifts, base substitutions, and deletions were clearly induced by 1,8-NONP treatment. The high proportion of point mutations (>92%) which occurred at G · C sites correlates with the percentage of 1,8- NONP-DNA adducts which occur at the C(8) position of guanine. The most prominent frameshift mutations were -(G · C) events, which were induced by 1,8-NONP treatment in all strains, occurred preferentially in runs of guanine residues, and whose frequency increased markedly with the length of the reiterated sequence. Of the base substitution mutations G · C → T · A transversions were induced to the greatest extent by 1,8-NONP. The distribution of the G · C → T · A transversions was not influenced by the nature of flanking bases, nor was there a strand preference for these events. The presence of plasmid pKM101 specifically increased the frequency of G · C → T · A transversions by a factor of 30-60. In contrast, the -(G · C) frameshift mutation frequency was increased only 2-4-fold in strains harboring pKM101 as compared to strains lacking this plasmid. There was, however, a marked influence of pKM101 on the strand specificity of frameshift mutation; a preference was observed for -G events on the transcribed strand. The ability of the bacteria to carry out nucleotide excision repair had a strong effect on the frequency of all classes of mutation but did not significantly influence either the overall distribution of mutational classes or the strand specificity of G · C → T · A transversions and -(G · C) frameshifts. Deletion mutations were induced in the Δuvr, pKM101 strain. The endpoints of the majority of the deletion mutations were G · C rich and contained regions of considerable homology. The specificity of 1,8-NONP- induced mutation suggests that DNA containing 1,8-NONP adducts can be processed through different mutational pathways depending on the DNA sequence context of the adduct and the DNA repair background of the cell.

Department of Biology

Lambert, I, Gordon, A.J.E., Glickman, B.W., & McCalla, D.R. (1992). The influence of local DNA sequence and DNA repair background on the mutational specificity of 1-nitroso-8-nitropyrene in Escherichia coli: Inferences for mutagenic mechanisms. Genetics, 132(4), 911–927.