MCB Faculty

John Petruska

Professor of Biological Sciences

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-5189
Office: RRI 119B



  • Ph.D. , University of Chicago, 1/1962

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Petruska's research interests include DNA methylation, mutagenesis and evolution. His research investigates the mechanisms of mutation "hot" and "cold" spots in relation to evolution. He examines nearest-neighbor influences on point mutations arising through DNA polymerases and DNA methylases. Professor Petruska is currently investigating the consequences of CG replacements by TG or CA and their suppression.


    • Petruska, J. A. Hartenstine MJ, Goodman MF, Petruska J. Weak strand displacement activity enables human DNA polymerase beta to expand CAG/CTG triplet repeats at strand breaks. J Biol Chem. 2002. Nov 1;277(44):41379-89.
    • Petruska, J. A. Hartenstine MJ, Goodman MF, Petruska J. Base stacking and even/odd behavior of hairpin loops in DNA triplet repeat slippage and expansion with DNA polymerase. J Biol Chem. 2000 Jun 16;275(24):18382-90.
    • Petruska, J. A. Petruska J, Arnheim N, Goodman MF. Stability of intrastrand hairpin structures formed by the CAG/CTG class of DNA triplet repeats associated with neurological diseases. Nucleic Acids Res. [ 1996 ] Jun 1;24(11):1992-8.

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371