Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17301142
J. Virol. 2007 May;81(9):4900-3
The retroviral mutation rate is susceptible to a number of variables, including the balance between intracellular deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) pools. While this follows from tissue culture studies, the issue has never been addressed directly in vivo. To explore this question in a tractable experimental system, we analyzed the impact of thymidine treatment on the synthesis of gypsy retroelement cDNA from Drosophila melanogaster during development through to hatching. The mutation frequency was enhanced approximately 16-fold over the levels seen in the experimental background. Due to the lack of proofreading, these gypsy elements represent hypervariable loci within the Drosophila genome, suggesting that dNTP pool imbalances in vivo are mutagenic.