Strand asymmetry of +1 frameshift mutagenesis at a homopolymeric run by DNA polymerase III holoenzyme of Escherichia coli

J Biol Chem. 1999 Nov 19;274(47):33313-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.47.33313.


We have recently shown that single-base frameshifts were predominant among mutations induced within the rpsL target sequence upon oriC plasmid DNA replication in vitro. We found that the occurrence of +1 frameshifts at a run of 6 residues of dA/dT could be increased proportionally by increasing the concentration of dATP present in the in vitro replication. Using single-stranded circular DNA containing either the coding sequence of the rpsL gene or its complementary sequence, the +1 frameshift mutagenesis by DNA polymerase III holoenzyme of Escherichia coli was extensively examined. A(6) --> A(7) frameshifts occurred 30 to 90 times more frequently during DNA synthesis with the noncoding sequence (dT tract) template than with the coding sequence (dA tract). Excess dATP enhanced the occurrence of +1 frameshifts during DNA synthesis with the dT tract template, but no other dNTPs showed such an effect. In the presence of 0.1 mM dATP, the A(6) --> A(7) mutagenesis with the dT tract template was not inhibited by 1.5 mM dCTP, which is complementary to the residue immediately upstream of the dT tract. These results strongly suggested that the A(6) --> A(7) frameshift mutagenesis possesses an asymmetric strand nature and that slippage errors leading to the +1 frameshift are made during chain elongation within the tract rather than by misincorporation of nucleotides opposite residues next to the tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Polymerase III / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Frameshift Mutation*
  • Ribosomal Protein S9
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Templates, Genetic


  • DNA Primers
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Ribosomal Protein S9
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • RpsI protein, E coli
  • ribosomal protein S12
  • DNA Polymerase III