Letter from Leonard S. Lerman to Francis Crick


Title:
Letter from Leonard S. Lerman to Francis Crick
Creator:
Lerman, Leonard S.
Recipient:
Crick, Francis, 1916-2004
Date:
27 October 1964
Description:
Lerman obtained physical chemical evidence that dyes derived from the coal-tar chemical acridine, specifically proflavin (a bright yellow dye), produced mutations in genes by slipping in between adjacent base pairs on one strand of the DNA molecule but not the other, forcing the adjacent bases on that strand apart by two times their normal distance.. Crick and Sydney Brenner carried Lerman's findings further and suggested that when the DNA strand on which the acridine compound had acted was copied during gene replication, the gap between the adjacent bases was either filled in on the complementary strand, or the base opposite was dropped, by either the addition or deletion of a base. Thus was produced an inheritable mutation. They laid out their thoughts in an article written with Leslie Barnett and Alice Orgel, entitled "The Theory of Mutagenesis" and published in the Journal of Molecular Biology 3 (1961). Crick and Brenner relied on Lerman's findings in using acridines to produce phase-shift mutants that helped establish the three-letter genetic code.
Original Repository:
The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Location:
Box: 10. Folder: PP/CRI/D/1/1/12
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Leonard S. Lerman.
Genre:
Letters (correspondence)
Subject:
DNA Replication
Format:
Text
Extent:
2 pages
Relation:
Letter from Francis Crick to Leonard S. Lerman, 1964
The Theory of Mutagenesis [Editorial letter], 1961
Language:
English
Legacy Source Citation:
Original Repository. Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers. 11646. URL. http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/
Legacy ID:
SCBBBR
NLM ID:
101584582X7
Profiles Collection:
The Francis Crick Papers
Story Section:
Deciphering the Genetic Code, 1958-1966