Gene amplification causes overproduction of the first three enzymes of UMP synthesis in N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate-resistant hamster cells

J Biol Chem. 1979 Sep 10;254(17):8679-89.


Mutant Syrian hamster cells resistant to N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate (PALA), a transition state analog inhibitor of aspartate transcarbamylase, overproduce CAD, a multifunctional protein which catalyzes the first three reactions of de novo UMP biosynthesis. Increased levels of a single mRNA cause the overproduction of CAD in all PALA-resistant mutants examined thus far. A recombinant plasmid containing a 2,3-kilobase insert complementary to the 3'-proximal region of this 7.9-kilobase mRNA has been prepared and used to show that the CAD gene is amplified in each of the 10 PALA-resistant mutants examined. Rates of association of CAD sequences in DNA isolated from PALA-sensitive and PALA-resistant cells with labeled plasmid DNA indicated that the degree of amplification is approximately equal to the degree of overproduction of protein and mRNA in each mutant. The patterns of digestion of these DNAs with restriction enzymes confirmed this result and showed that the lower limit for the size of the amplified unit is 19 kilobases, much larger than the mRNA. A comparison of restriction endonuclease digests of the cloned cDNA with digests of genomic DNA indicated that part of this difference is attributable to intervening sequences in the CAD gene. A 10.2-kilobase RNA which contains CAD sequences is found in cytoplasmic fractions from some PALA-resistant mutants but not in wild type cells. Restriction patterns were analyzed by a new method in which fragments of DNA are transferred from agarose gels to diazo paper with a high efficiency which is independent of size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aspartic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • DNA, Recombinant / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Mesocricetus
  • Multienzyme Complexes / biosynthesis*
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Uracil Nucleotides / biosynthesis*
  • Uridine Monophosphate / biosynthesis*


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Uracil Nucleotides
  • Aspartic Acid
  • sparfosic acid
  • Uridine Monophosphate
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid