Bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase determines the amount and specificity of ultraviolet mutagenesis

Mol Gen Genet. 1988 Nov;214(3):547-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00330493.


Ultraviolet mutagenesis in bacteriophage T4 proceeds via error-prone repair (EPR) and requires the functional integrity of the uvsWXY system which mediates genetic recombination, recombinational repair, and mutability by diverse DNA damaging agents. Current opinion holds that mutagens acting through EPR generate DNA damage which blocks the progress of the replication complex and that EPR consists of the facilitated bypass of such inaccurate, damaged templates. This notion predicts that the T4 DNA polymerase (encoded by gene 43) mediates EPR in UV irradiated phage T4. This prediction is verified by the discovery that gene 43 mutations often enhance or reduce UV mutagenesis (which is scored by the induction of r mutants) and sometimes change its specificity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Repair / radiation effects*
  • DNA, Viral / radiation effects*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genes, Viral
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Mutation
  • T-Phages / enzymology
  • T-Phages / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase