Mutagenicity and Mutational Spectrum of N-Methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in the hprt Gene in G1-S and Late S Phase of Diploid Human Fibroblasts

Jia Ling Yang, Meng Chuen Hu, Cheng Wen Wu

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21 Scopus citations


To investigate the effect of DNA replication on the mutation spectrum induced in diploid human fibroblasts by W-methyl-W-nitro-W-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG), cells were synchronized and exposed to MNNG either at the Gt-S border or in late S phase, and the mutations in the hypoxanthine (guanine) phosphoribosyltransferase (hprt) gene were examined. The coding regions of 92 independent mutants were characterized by direct sequencing of mRNA-polymerase chain reaction-amplified complementary DNA. While there was little difference in the sensitivity of the two populations to the cytotoxic effects of MNNG, the frequency of mutants induced in late S populations was significantly lower than that induced in GrS populations. The majority of induced complementary DNA mutations were single base substitutions (54%) and splice site mutations (43%). Analysis of the intron-exon boundaries of more than one-half of the splicing mutants showed that almost all contained base substitutions in the hprt gene. A broad mutational spectrum was observed in low-dose (4, 6, or 8 um) treatments; only 27% were G to A transitions, whereas 80% of base substitutions derived from the high-dose (10 or 12 um) treatments were G to A transitions in Gi-S populations. An intermediate frequency (64%) of G to A transitions was observed in late S populations exposed to MNNG. When the causative premutation lesion was O6-methylguanine, 75% of G to A transitions that were observed in Gi-S populations clustered on both the transcribed and the nontranscribed strands of the 5' half of the hprt gene. In contrast, 50% of G to A transitions were located only on the nontranscribed strand of this region in late S populations. The results indicate that 06-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase may not efficiently remove 06-methylguanine from the 5' half of the gene but can repair lesions far away from this region during initiation of replication. Our results are consistent with the notion that the putative origin of replication is located at intron 1 of the hprt gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2865-2873
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1993

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