Site specificity and variability in the mutator and antimutator effects of phage T4 gene 43 mutants

Genetics. 1978 Dec;90(4):647-57. doi: 10.1093/genetics/90.4.647.


Spontaneous, 2-aminopurine- and 5-bromouracil-induced mutations at six rII nonsense codons were studied in phage T4 strains possessing wild-type and mutant gene 43 alleles. The mutation pathways studied included interconversions and reversions of nonsense codons. The tsCB87 allele, which specifies an antimutator DNA polymerase, reduced base-analogue-induced mutation frequencies along all pathways. However, GC base pairs were less affected than AT base pairs. The frequency of spontaneous UAA leads to UAG conversions was also reduced by tsCB87, but that of spontaneous UAA leads to UAG UGA conversions was often increased. Mutation in the presence of the mutator allele tsL56 was increased along all pathways, with no preference for either AT or GC base pairs. Mutation frequencies in the presence of the two mutant DNA polymerases were highly variable. A strong correlation was found between 2-aminopurine-induced mutation frequencies in ts+ tsCB87 phage along the reversion and UAA changed to UAG (but not UAA changed to UGA) pathways.

MeSH terms

  • 2-Aminopurine / pharmacology
  • Alleles
  • Bromouracil / pharmacology
  • Coliphages / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, Viral
  • Genetic Code
  • Mutagens
  • Mutation*
  • Peptide Chain Termination, Translational


  • Mutagens
  • 2-Aminopurine
  • Bromouracil