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

Mutant strain of Chinese hamster ovary cells with no detectable ornithine decarboxylase activity.

We previously described an arginase-deficient, polyamine-dependent Chinese hamster ovary cell line which grows in serum-free medium. From this strain we isolated a new mutant strain that has no detectable catalytic ornithine decarboxylase activity. The mutant cells contain, however, immunoreactive ornithine decarboxylase-like protein roughly in the same quantity as the parent strain. The mutant and the parent cell line strains also contain similar amounts of ornithine decarboxylase-mRNA hybridizable to a specific cDNA. If polyamines are omitted from the medium, proliferation of the mutant cells is considerably retarded and ceases in 6 to 10 days. Addition of ornithine or alpha-difluoromethylornithine, a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, has no effect on these cells. Putrescine and spermidine decreased in the mutant cells to undetectable levels during polyamine starvation, whereas spermine was reduced to 1/5th of that found in the control cultures. Polyamines appear to be indispensable for the mutant strain, but this was obvious only after the amount of polyamines, found as impurities in bovine serum albumin used in the medium, was reduced by dialysis to 10(-12) M. Because sera contain polyamines, the ability of the mutant strain to grow in serum-free medium is a great advantage in elucidation of the mechanisms of polyamine function.[1]


  1. Mutant strain of Chinese hamster ovary cells with no detectable ornithine decarboxylase activity. Pohjanpelto, P., Hölttä, E., Jänne, O.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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