Environmental Mutagenesis

Abstract

Environmental mutagenesis is the study of induced mutation above the background or spontaneous rate (characteristic of any particular organism) produced by exposure to mutagens identified in materials ranging from foods to pharmaceutical drugs. Environmental mutagenesis involves the study of the mechanisms by which chemicals induce mutation and the development of test methods and regulatory procedures to identify and control environmental mutagens since such agents may be of major concern to public health.

Keywords: mutation; environment; genotoxic; cancer; aneuploidy

Figure 1.

Mechanisms of induction of point mutations. DNA base sequences are in normal type (A: adenine; C: cytosine; G: guanine; T: thymine). Mutations are indicated in bold and the messenger RNA sequence in italic (U represents uracil which replaces thymine).

Figure 2.

Base insertion or base deletions leading to frameshift mutations. DNA base sequences are in normal type, mutations are indicated in bold and messenger RNA sequences in italic.

Figure 3.

Outline of the procedures used to detect mutagenic activity using the bacterial reverse mutation assay – the Ames test.

Figure 4.

Strategy for the detection of the mutagenic activity of a chemical.

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Further Reading

Ames BN, Gold LS and Willett WC (1995) The causes and prevention of cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 92: 5258–5265.

Cooper DN and Krawczak M (1993) Human Gene Mutation. Oxford: BIOS Scientific.

Kirkland DJ (ed.) (1989) Statistical evaluation of mutagenicity test data. UKEMS Sub‐committee on Guidelines for Mutagenicity Testing. Report. Part III Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kirkland DJ (ed.) (1990) Basic mutagenicity tests: UKEMS recommended procedures. UKEMS Sub‐committee on Guidelines for Mutagenicity Testing. Report. Part I Revised Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kirkland DJ and Fox M (eds.) (1993) Supplementary mutagenicity tests. UKEMS Sub‐committee on Guidelines for Mutagenicity Testing. Report. Part II Revised Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Maron DM and Ames BN (1983) Revised methods for the Salmonella mutagenicity test. Mutation Research 113: 173–215.

Phillips DH and Venitt S (eds.) (1995) Environmental Mutagenesis. Oxford: BIOS Scientific.

Schmezer P and Eckert C (1999) Induction of mutations in transgenic animal models. Big Blue™ and Muta™ Mouse. In: McGregor DB, Rice JM and Venitt S (eds.) The Use of Short and Medium Term Tests for Carcinogens and Data on Genetic Effects in Carcinogen Hazard Evaluation, p. 146. Lyon: IARC.

Strachan T and Read AP (1996) Human Molecular Genetics. Oxford: BIOS Scientific.

Web Links

Mammalian Gene Mutation Database. The Mammalian Gene Mutation Database (MGMD) is a searchable database of published mutagen induced gene mutations in mammalian tissues http://lisntweb.swan.ac.uk/cmgt/index.htm

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How to Cite close
Parry, James M, and Parry, Elizabeth M(Jan 2006) Environmental Mutagenesis. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005559]