Mechanism of EMS Action?

martin LEACH leach at
Thu Feb 13 14:54:16 EST 1997

Namjin Chung (nc1 at wrote:
: Hi, all!

: EMS (MMS) is an alkylating agent, and widely used in mutagenesis.  I
: wonder how this mutagen work on DNA: probably by modifying bases so that
: mismatches would happen? Is there any other molecules, proteins or lipids,
: being alkylated by EMS?  If there is, how does EMS affect their biological
: activities/functions?

MMS (methyl-methane sulfonate)

is mutagenic by the following way:

causes alkaylation of guanosine at the 7 position with resulting tautomeric

nasty stuff!


: Any comments would be greatly appreciated.  TIA.

: Namjin Chung, who knows little and asks a lot!
: Program in Molecular Cancer Biology
: Duke University Medical Center
: Durham, North Carolina

.....          Martin Leach                Email:leach at
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