Lack of sequence-specific removal of N-methylpurines from cellular DNA

David A. Scicchitano, Philip C. Hanawalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The removal of N-methylpurines from the DHFR gene and an unexpressed adjacent locus located downstream occurs at similar rates and to a similar extent in dimethyl sulfate treated Chinese hamster ovary B11 cells. Furthermore, no significant differences in repair rates are observed between the strands of the active gene. These data primarily reflect the removal of the most abundant lesion produced by dimethyl sulfate, 7-methylguanine, and are in contrast to the results obtained for the removal of ultraviolet-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers from the same region of the genome. Pyrimidine dimers are cleared preferentially from the transcribed strand of the DHFR gene and are removed poorly from the non-transcribed complementary strand and unexpressed adjacent regions. The results suggest that DNA lesions such as dimers that block transcription are removed preferentially from active genes, whereas lesions that do not interfere with nucleic acid synthesis (i.e. 7-methylguanine) are removed at similar rates from expressed and silent loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1990


  • Alkylating agents
  • DNA, cellular
  • Dimethyl sulphate
  • Glycosylase
  • N-Methylpurines
  • Preferential repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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