DNA-ligase activities appear normal in the CHO mutant EM9

Mutat Res. 1984 May-Jun;131(5-6):209-14. doi: 10.1016/0167-8817(84)90027-0.


The Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) mutant strain EM9 was previously shown to be hypersensitive to killing by ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), to have a 12-fold increased baseline incidence of sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE), and to be defective in rejoining DNA strand breaks after treatment with EMS, MMS, or X-rays. A study was performed to determine if the primary biochemical defect might be a DNA ligase. DNA-ligase activities were assayed and compared after separation of the multiple forms of ligase by AcA 34 gel-filtration chromatography of total cellular extracts. In EM9 cells the levels of the presumptive replicative forms, DNA ligase Ia (480 kd) and ligase Ib (240 kd) were about 50% and 60%, respectively, of those in the parental AA8 cells, whereas DNA ligase II (80 kd) was unaltered in EM9 . In a phenotypic revertant line ( 9R1 ) ligases Ia, Ib and II levels were 35%, 37% and 100%, respectively, of those in AA8 . The reduced levels of ligases Ia and Ib in EM9 and 9R1 cells are apparently not related directly to the mutant phenotype and may be attributable to the somewhat slower growth rates of these strains compared with those of AA8 . To determine if the repair defect in EM9 might reside in the ability to induce DNA-ligase activity after treatment with a DNA-damaging agent, AA8 and EM9 cells were treated with MMS at 30 micrograms/ml for 60 min before preparing fractions for ligase assays. Under these conditions the activities of ligases Ia and Ib decreases 70-80% in both cell lines, but ligase II increased 2.0- and 2.6-fold, respectively, in AA8 and EM9 . As a further test of defective ligase activities in EM9 , assays were performed in the presence of 0.1 M NaCl or after heating the fractions for 10 min at 50 degrees C. Although all 3 forms of ligase showed altered activity under both of these conditions, there were no significant differences between EM9 and AA8 cells. These data combined with the above results provide strong evidence that the site of the primary defect in EM9 is not in either of the DNA ligases .

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA Ligases / metabolism*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Mutation
  • Ovary
  • Polynucleotide Ligases / metabolism*
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology


  • Sodium Chloride
  • DNA Ligases
  • Polynucleotide Ligases