Mutagenesis in Mammalian Cells Induced by Triple Helix Formation and Transcription-Coupled Repair

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Science  09 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5250, pp. 802-805
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5250.802


When mammalian cells were treated with triplex-forming oligonucleotides of sufficient binding affinity, mutations were specifically induced in a simian virus 40 vector contained within the cells. Triplex-induced mutagenesis was not detected in xeroderma pigmentosum group A cells nor in Cockayne's syndrome group B cells, indicating a requirement for excision repair and for transcription-coupled repair, respectively, in the process. Triplex formation was also found to stimulate DNA repair synthesis in human cell extracts, in a pattern correlating with the inhibition of transcription in such extracts. These findings may have implications for therapeutic applications of triplex DNA and raise the possibility that naturally occurring triple helices are a source of genetic instability.