A dominant mitochondrial mutator phenotype of Saccharomyces cerevisiae conferred by msh1 alleles altered in the sequence encoding the ATP-binding domain.
Koprowski P, Fikus U, Mieczkowski P, Ciesla Z
Molecular Genetics and Genomics (2002)
Category: mitochondrial DNA ¤ Added: Mar 19, 2002 ¤ Rating: ◊
In order to improve our understanding of the role of the yeast MSH1 gene in error avoidance in mitochondrial DNA, two msh1 alleles were constructed, which encode proteins with amino acid substitutions in an ATP-binding domain that is highly conserved among MutS homologs. Here, we report that moderate overexpression of the msh1-R813W or msh1-G776D allele, in strains which also carry the wild-type MSH1 allele, slightly increases the frequency of mutations conferring resistance to erythromycin (E(r)) and elevates the frequency of alterations within a polyGT tract present in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This result indicates that the mutant alleles confer a dominant mitochondrial mutator phenotype and strongly suggests that the ATP-binding domain plays a crucial role in the in vivo function of Msh1p. Interestingly, we have found that overexpression of wild-type MSH1 has opposite effects on the stability of polyGT vs. polyAT tracts present in mtDNA; excess of Msh1p slightly increases the stability of polyGT tracts, whereas the stability of polyAT tracts is dramatically decreased. We show that although overexpression of msh1-R813W or msh1-G776D also results in a marked overall increase in the frequency of alterations in polyAT tracts, the spectrum of alterations differs from that found in cells overexpressing MSH1; large deletions predominate in the latter case, while 2-bp deletions are generated in cells that overproduce the mutant msh1p. This result strongly suggests that the mutations in the ATP binding domain change the specificity of the protein with respect to the recognition of potentially mutagenic structures in mtDNA.