Adaptive mutation sequences reproduced by mismatch repair deficiency

Simonne Longerich, Anne M. Galloway, Reuben S. Harris, Cindy Wong, Susan M. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Adaptive reversions of a lac frameshift mutation in Escherichia coli are - 1 deletions in small mononucleotide repeats, whereas growth.dependent reversions are heterogeneous. The adaptive mutations resemble instability of simple repeats, which, in hereditary colon cancer, in yeast, and in E. coli occurs in the absence of mismatch repair. The postulate that mismatch repair is disabled transiently during adaptive mutation in E. coli is supported here by the demonstration that the growth-dependent mutation spectrum can be made indistinguishable from adaptive mutations by disallowing mismatch repair during growth. Physiologically induced mismatch repair deficiency could be an important mutagenic mechanism in cancers and in evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12017-12020
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 19 1995


  • Dam
  • Escherichia coli
  • MutS
  • recombination
  • spontaneous mutation


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