Characterisation and correction of a mammalian cell mutant defective in late step of base excision repair.
Ryan AJ., Hall M., Bouffler SD., Evans AL., Coates JA., Johnson RT.
An Indian muntjac cell line, SVM, is unusually sensitive to cell killing induced by a range of alkylating agents. Cells transfected with the Escherichia coli ada gene or human genomic DNA have allowed the response of SVM to alkylating agents to be dissociated into two distinct components. Thus, in SVM, which expresses very low levels of alkyltransferase (AT), O6-alkylguanine appears to be the major cytotoxic, clastogenic, and recombinogenic lesion following exposure to agents such as methylnitrosourea (MNU). However, SVM is also very sensitive to agents such as dimethylsulfate (DMS), which produce only very low levels of O6-methylguanine damage. Sensitivity to DMS resides in an inability to complete base excision repair, with the appearance of persistent single-strand DNA breaks (SSBs), and does not appear to involve defects in glycosylase, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, or DNA ligase activities. Another, possibly related, phenotypic trait in SVM is its limited ability to ligate transfected linear plasmid DNA. Transfectants of SVM, harboring human DNA sequences, show a significant correction of DMS-induced cytotoxicity and clastogenicity and a reduction in the levels of DMS-induced DNA SSBs. The DMS-resistant transfectants have an increased ability to ligate linear plasmid DNA, and also express AT, making these lines resistant to alkylating agents such as MNU. These results suggest that cells possess a mechanism that regulates AT expression, plasmid break-joining ability, and certain aspects of base excision repair. Transfectants of SVM containing human DNA provide a means to isolate genes involved in a coordinate response to alkylation damage.