Mutagenesis induced by the N-nitroso compounds: N-nitrosomethylurea, N-nitrosoethylurea, N-nitrosodi-n-propylamine and N-nitrosopyrrolidine was measured in Salmonella typhimurium TA100, TA102 and TA104. TA100 detects damage mainly at G-C base pairs while TA102 and TA104 can detect damage at A-T base pairs. In general all strains were similarly sensitive, except that TA104 was much less sensitive to high doses of N-nitroso-N-methylurea. In TA104 a significant percentage of the revertants induced by all agents except NMU resulted from point mutations at A-T base pairs, indicating that adenine or thymine DNA adducts are important premutagenic adducts formed by certain N-nitroso compounds.
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