N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)


OTHER NAMES:
ethylnitrosourea
1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea
N-ethylnitrosourea


ABBREVIATIONS:
ENU


DESCRIPTION: ENU, also known as N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (chemical formula C3H7N3O2), is a highly potent mutagen. For a given gene in mice, ENU can induce 1 new mutation in every 700 loci. It is also toxic at high doses.
The chemical is an alkylating agent, and acts by transferring the ethyl group of ENU to nucleobases (usually thymine) in nucleic acids.

- ENU is an alkylating agent and has preference for A->T base transversions and also for AT->GC transitions. However it is also shown to cause GC->AT transitions.
- It is known to induce point mutations, which implies that by mapping for the desired phenotype, the researcher can identify a single candidate gene responsible for the phenotype.
- The point mutations are at approximately 1-2 Mb interval and occur at an approximate rate of 1 per 700 gametes.
- Point mutations induced by ENU can either be gain-of-function mutations or loss-of function mutations in a gene as against deletions, which can induce only loss-of-function mutations.
- ENU targets spermatogonial stem cells.

DNA DAMAGES:
1-ethyl A (1etA)
3-ethyl C (3etC)
O6-ethyl G (O6etG)


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NAME STRUCTURE PROTEINS DNA DAMAGE EFFECT(S) PATHWAY(S) RELATED
1-ethyl A (1etA) ALKBH2
AlkB
ALKBH3
cytotoxic
stalled replication fork
direct reversal (DR)
3-ethyl C (3etC) AlkB C→T transition
cytotoxic
mutagenesis
point mutation
stalled replication fork
substitution
transition
direct reversal (DR)
O6-ethyl G (O6etG) MGMT cytotoxic direct reversal (DR)

Last modification date: Aug. 28, 2011