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Chapter 5. Emergence of Resistance > Mutations Can Be Caused (Induced) by Antib...

Mutations Can Be Caused (Induced) by Antibiotic Treatment

Bacteria, and probably other microbes, have ways to increase their mutation rates when placed under stress. One of the best-understood mechanisms is the bacterial SOS response. In this system, the expression of more than 30 genes is controlled by a protein called LexA, which binds in front of each of the SOS genes and blocks formation of mRNA, thereby blocking formation of proteins encoded by the genes. Under conditions of stress, such as DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light or fluoroquinolone treatment, the LexA protein cleaves itself. The resulting loss of LexA permits proteins to be made from the information in the SOS genes. Some of these proteins participate in DNA damage repair that involves synthesis of new stretches of DNA. Those....


  

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