Salmonella tester strains which are reverted by base-pair substitution mutagens are relatively insensitive to the mutagenic effects of N-methyl-N-nitroso compounds. One reason for this insensitivity is the ability of these strains to withstand low doses of these compounds before they become sensitive to their mutagenic effects. In this report it is shown that mutagenesis induced by treatment∼ of Salmonella typhimurium TA 1535 with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) in buffer is biphasic with a low sensitivity range at low doses where little mutagenesis occurs, followed by a high sensitivity range whose onset begins after an apparent threshold dose has been exceeded. Levels of O6-methylguanine (O6-MeG) in the DNA extracted from the bacteria follow a similar dose-response curve suggesting a dependency of mutagenesis on O6-MeG. In contrast, levels of 7-methylguanine (7-MeG) in the DNA increase linearly with dose. O6-MeG was undetectable at the lowest dose of MNNG whereas 7-MeG was readily detectable. Although such resistance to O6-alkylation has been demonstrated in MNNG-pretreated (adapted) E. coli, it has not been reported in unpretreated cells. When isolated DNA was treated with MNNG a linear dose-response in the generation of O6-MeG was observed. The lack of O6-MeG in DNA isolated from MNNG treated cells after low doses is attributed to a saturable, constitutive repair activity in the bacteria. An attempt to observe the removal of O6-MeG from the bacteria after exposure to a short challenge dose of N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU) followed by a subsequent incubation in buffer was unsuccessful, probably because all the repair occurred within the time necessary to treat and lyse the cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research