Suppression of chemical mutagenesis in bacteriophage T4 by genetically modified DNA polymerases

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1970 Jul;66(3):823-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.66.3.823.


Two antimutagenic DNA polymerases of bacteriophage T4 markedly reduce transition mutagenesis by a variety of chemical mutagens. Spontaneous mutation and mutagenesis by 2-aminopurine, 5-bromodeoxyuridine, and thymine deprivation are strongly suppressed. Mutagenesis at G:C sites by ethyl methanesulfonate, and at A:T sites by nitrous acid, is moderately suppressed. Mutagenesis at G:C sites by hydroxylamine and by nitrous acid is not suppressed. These results support the notion that the indispensable DNA polymerase of bacteriophage T4 plays a crucial role in the selection of the correct base during DNA replication. The data also reveal that mutagenic specificities of chemical agents depend as much upon the characteristics of the enzymatic apparatus of DNA replication as they do upon the chemistry of primary mutational lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Bromodeoxyuridine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Coliphages / drug effects*
  • Coliphages / enzymology
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism*
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Viral
  • Genetics, Microbial
  • Hydroxylamines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mutagens / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mutation / drug effects*
  • Nitrites / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Purines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sulfonic Acids / antagonists & inhibitors


  • DNA, Viral
  • Hydroxylamines
  • Mutagens
  • Nitrites
  • Purines
  • Sulfonic Acids
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Bromodeoxyuridine