SOS and Mayday: multiple inducible mutagenic pathways in Escherichia coli

Mol Microbiol. 1998 Dec;30(5):905-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1998.01120.x.


Environmental and physiological stress conditions can transiently alter the fidelity of DNA replication. The DNA damage-mediated SOS response in Escherichia coli is the best-known example of such an 'inducible mutagenesis' or 'transient mutator' pathway. Emerging evidence suggests the existence of a number of other stress-inducible pathways that also affect the fidelity of replication. Among the more provocative recent findings are UVM, an SOS-independent damage-inducible mutagenic pathway, and a new recA-dependent but umuD/C-independent pathway that appears to be provoked by translational stress. These findings alter our view of inducible mutagenesis, and anticipate the existence of previously unrecognized links between protein synthesis and DNA replication.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Rec A Recombinases / genetics
  • SOS Response, Genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • UmuC protein, E coli
  • Rec A Recombinases
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • UmuD protein, E coli