Apr 1, 1979

Error propagation in viable cells

Mechanisms of Ageing and Development
J Gallant, L Palmer

Abstract

Error propagation is the process, predicted by theoretical models, whereby errors in translating the genetic code will beget fresh errors in successive generations. It has been postulated that error propagation may underly the mortality of cells which display clonal senescence. We have demonstrated the occurrence of error propagation in viable cells of E. coli during growth in a low concentration of streptomycin, a drug which promotes ribosomal ambiguity. We monitored error propagation by measuring mistranslation of a specific UAA codon, and measured viability by direct enumeration of both live and dead cells through a sensitive microscopic technique. We find that the error frequency may be artificially increased by at least an order of magnitude without generating any detectable increase in the proportion of dead cells or of cells whose descendents are doomed to clonal senescence. The error frequency increases gradually over the course of a few generations, in qualitative agreement with the notion of error propagation, and eventually stabilizes at a constant value much higher than normal. The kinetics of this increase agree quantitatively with the Hoffman-Kirkwood and Holliday formulation of error propagation, for parameter va...Continue Reading

  • References20
  • Citations24

References

  • References20
  • Citations24

Mentioned in this Paper

Cell Aging
Bacterial Proteins
Theoretical Model
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Alkaline Phosphatase
Protein Biosynthesis
Streptomycin
Senescence Function
Clone
Ribosomes

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