Mutations induced by DNA polymerase alpha upon in vitro replication of M13mp8(+) DNA

Nucleic Acids Res. 1986 Mar 11;14(5):2365-80. doi: 10.1093/nar/14.5.2365.


The forward mutation of the lacZ part of the bacteriophage M13mp8 has been used to study the fidelity of the 9S DNA polymerase alpha from calf thymus during in vitro replication of single-stranded DNA. Errors leading to a loss of alpha-complementation were identified by DNA sequencing. The overall mutation rate of the lacZ target sequence was in the range of 1:300-1:1000 which is more than one order of magnitude higher than the spontaneous mutation rate. In a mutL host the mutation rate was nearly threefold higher as compared to the wildtype host. Base substitutions comprise 86% of the errors whereas base deletions amount to 12%. The addition of a base was detected only in one mutant out of 71 sequenced ones. The frameshift mutations occurred predominantly in runs of the same base. The frequencies of individual base substitution are in the order of 2 X 10(-4)-4 X 10(-4) for most of the mismatches. Mutations involving dCTP:T and dGTP:T mismatches are observed with a lower frequency, those involving dTTP:C mismatches with a higher frequency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Coliphages / genetics*
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Mutation*
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA Polymerase II