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

A new expression system for mammalian cells based on putative replicator sequences of the mouse and a truncated thymidine kinase gene.

We have constructed a new expression vector for mammalian cells. The vector contains a truncated tk gene for amplification under selective conditions, a sequence putatively supporting the replication of plasmid DNA in eukaryotic cells (murine autonomously replicating sequence) and an expression cassette for the cDNA to be studied. As a model cDNA we have used that of human tissue-type plasminogen activator ( t-PA). Analysis of Hirt supernatants and chromosomal DNA from L cells, prepared six weeks after isolation of the clones indicated a 50- to 500-fold amplification of the expression construct in the cells. Concomitantly, the expression of t-PA was dramatically increased. Our data are consistent with episomal persistence of the expression construct, with a head-to-tail mode of integration into the mouse genome and with coexistence of both episomal plasmids and head-to-tail integrates. In tk-deficient cell lines other then L-cells, such as mouse mastocytoma or rat hepatoma cells, a strong selection against the persistence of the expression construct was noted. After long-term propagation of the L-cells under selective conditions the expression of the indicator gene continually decreases, but finally a constant plateau level of expression is established. Expression could be restored to the original level by blocking more efficiently the de novo synthesis of nucleosides.[1]


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