Spontaneous mutagenesis is enhanced in Apex heterozygous mice

Jessica Huamani, C. Alex McMahan, Damon C. Herbert, Robert Reddick, John R. McCarrey, Mark I. MacInnes, David J. Chen, Christi A. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Germ line DNA directs the development of the next generation and, as such, is profoundly different from somatic cell DNA. Spermatogenic cells obtained from young adult lacI transgenic mice display a lower spontaneous mutant frequency and greater in vitro base excision repair activity than somatic cells and tissues obtained from the same mice. However, spermatogenic cells from old lacI mice display a 10-fold higher mutant frequency. This increased spontaneous mutant frequency occurs coincidentally with decreased in vitro base excision repair activity for germ cell and testicular extracts that in turn corresponds to a decreased abundance of AP endonuclease. To directly test whether a genetic diminution of AP endonuclease results in increased spontaneous mutant frequencies in spermatogenic cell types, AP endonuclease heterozygous (Apex +/-) knockout mice were crossed with lacI transgenic mice. Spontaneous mutant frequencies were significantly elevated (approximately twofold) for liver and spleen obtained from 3-month-old Apex+/- lacI+ mice compared to frequencies from Apex+/+ lacI + littermates and were additionally elevated for somatic tissues from 9-month-old mice. Spermatogenic cells from 9-month-old Apex+/- lacI+ mice were significantly elevated twofold compared to levels for 9-month-old Apex+/+ lacI+ control mice. These data indicate that diminution of AP endonuclease has a significant effect on spontaneous mutagenesis in somatic and germ line cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8145-8153
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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