Germline genomic instability in PCNA mutants of Drosophila: DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite analysis

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PCNA participates in multiple processes of DNA metabolism with an essential role in DNA replication and intervening in DNA repair. Temperature-sensitive PCNA mutants of Drosophila (mus209) are sensitive to mutagens, impair developmental processes and suppress positional-effect variegation. To investigate the role of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in germline genomic stability, independent mus209-defective and mus209-normal lines were established and maintained over six generations. A time course study was carried out and general genomic alterations were analyzed in the progeny by using arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR) and microsatellite analysis. The AP-PCR analysis has shown that a dysfunctional PCNA leads to germline genomic instability, being the amount of genomic alterations transmitted to the progeny directly related to the number of mus209B1 mutant alleles. In addition, we have found that the frequency of genomic alterations tends to increase over successive generations. Surprisingly, the highest microsatellite instability was found in the heterozygous mus209-defective lines, suggesting a greater mutation rate in these individuals, in comparison with the homozygous mus209-defective lines. In conclusion, our results clearly indicate that PCNA is an important factor to maintain genomic stability in germinal cells, both in the overall genome and in simple repeated sequences. The implication of PCNA mutations in transgenerational genomic instability and related to cancer susceptibility is also discussed. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-265
Number of pages13
JournalMutation Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • DNA fingerprinting
  • Drosophila
  • Genomic instability
  • Germline mutations
  • PCNA
  • mus209 mutant


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