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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Unequal homologous recombination between tandemly arranged sequences stably incorporated into cultured rat cells.

Cultured rat cells deficient in endogenous thymidine kinase activity ( tk) were stably transformed with a recombination-indicator DNA substrate constructed in vitro by rearrangement of the herpes simplex virus tk gene sequences into a partially redundant permutation of the functional gene. The recombination-indicator DNA did not express tk, but was designed to allow formation of a functional tk gene via homologous recombination. A clonal cell line (519) was isolated that harbored several permuted herpes simplex virus tk genes. 519 cells spontaneously produced progeny that survived in medium containing hypoxanthine, aminopterin, and thymidine. Acquisition of resistance to hypoxanthine, aminopterin, and thymidine was accompanied by the rearrangement of the defective tk gene to functional configuration. The rearrangement apparently occurred by unequal exchange between one permuted tk gene and a replicated copy of itself. Recombination was between 500-base-pair tracts of DNA sequence homology that were separated by 3.4 kilobases. Exchanges occurred spontaneously at a frequency of approximately 5 X 10(-6) events per cell per generation. Recombination also mediated reversion to the tk- phenotype; however, the predominant mechanism by which cells escaped death in the presence of drugs rendered toxic by thymidine kinase was not recombination, but rather inactivation of the intact tk gene.[1]


  1. Unequal homologous recombination between tandemly arranged sequences stably incorporated into cultured rat cells. Stringer, J.R., Kuhn, R.M., Newman, J.L., Meade, J.C. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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