DNA-Directed mutations. Leading and lagging strand specificity

Richard R. Sinden, Vera I. Hashem, William A. Rosche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The fidelity of replication has evolved to reproduce B-form DNA accurately, while allowing a low frequency of mutation. The fidelity of replication can be compromised, however, by defined order sequence DNA (dosDNA) that can adopt unusual or non B-DNA conformations. These alternative DNA conformations, including hairpins, cruciforms, triplex DNAs, and slipped-strand structures, may affect enzyme template interactions that potentially lead to mutations. To analyze the effect of dosDNA elements on spontaneous mutagenesis, various mutational inserts containing inverted repeats or direct repeats were cloned in a plasmid containing a unidirectional origin of replication and a selectable marker for the mutation. This system allows for analysis of mutational events that are specific for the leading or lagging strands during DNA replication in Escherichia coli. Deletions between direct repeats, involving misalignment stabilized by DNA secondary structure, occurred preferentially on the lagging strand. Intermolecular strand switch events, correcting quasipalindromes to perfect inverted repeats, occurred preferentially during replication of the leading strand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-189
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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