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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2013, Article ID 173616, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparative Analysis of Context-Dependent Mutagenesis in Humans and Fruit Flies

1Department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Moscow State University, Vorbyevy Gory 1-73, Moscow 119992, Russia
2Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshoi Karetny Pereulok 19-1, Moscow 127994, Russia
3Department of Mathematical Methods in Biology, Belozersky Institute, Moscow State University, Vorbyevy Gory 1-40, Moscow 119991, Russia
4Department of Mathematics, Scientific-Research Institute for System Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimovskii Prospekt 36-1, Moscow 117218, Russia

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 7 July 2013

Academic Editor: Dmitry Sherbakov

Copyright © 2013 Sofya A. Medvedeva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In general, mutation frequencies are context-dependent: specific adjacent nucleotides may influence the probability to observe a specific type of mutation in a genome. Recently, several hypermutable motifs were identified in the human genome. Namely, there is an increased frequency of T>C mutations in the second position of the words ATTG and ATAG and an increased frequency of A>C mutations in the first position of the word ACAA. Previous studies have also shown that there is a remarkable difference between the mutagenesis of humans and drosophila. While C>T mutations are overrepresented in the CG context in humans (and other vertebrates), this mutation regularity is not observed in Drosophila melanogaster. Such differences in the observed regularities of mutagenesis between representatives of different taxa might reflect differences in the mechanisms involved in mutagenesis. We performed a systematical comparison of mutation regularities within 2–4 bp contexts in Homo sapiens and Drosophila melanogaster and found that the aforementioned contexts are not hypermutable in fruit flies. It seems that most mutation contexts affect mutation rates in a similar manner in H. sapiens and D. melanogaster; however, several important exceptions are noted and discussed.