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

Selective retention of recombinant plasmids coding for human insulin.

Plasmids may be lost from Escherichia coli K-12 hosts that are cultured without selection for plasmid retention. This is particularly true for chimeric plasmids that incorporate genes for human insulin into vectors derived from pBR322. The cIts857 gene of bacteriophage lambda was inserted into the bla gene of the human-insulin-coding plasmids, pIA7 delta 4 delta 1, pIB7 delta 4 delta 1 and pHI7 delta 4 delta 1, generating the new plasmids pPR17, pPR18 and pPR19, respectively, which produced the thermosensitive lambda repressor. The cI gene was downstream from the pM and pbla promoters, so that it may have been expressed from either or both promoters. Separate E. coli K-12 RV308 host strains containing the new recombinants were lysogenized with the repressor-defective bacteriophage lambda cI90. Loss of the plasmid from the lysogens causes concomitant loss of the lambda repressor and cell death, because the prophage is induced to enter the lytic growth cycle. The system effectively forces retention of the plasmid in all viable cells in the culture.[1]


  1. Selective retention of recombinant plasmids coding for human insulin. Rosteck, P.R., Hershberger, C.L. Gene (1983) [Pubmed]
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