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

Transgenic mice for the establishment of histidinol-resistant embryonic fibroblast feeder layers.

Gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells generates mutations by replacing an endogenous chromosomal region with a copy disrupted by a selectable genetic marker. The most commonly used selectable marker is the bacterial neo(r) gene, which confers resistance in mammalian cells to the antibiotic G418. Use of an alternative selectable marker, the Salmonella typhimurium gene hisD, should provide expanded applications for gene targeting. The hisD gene encodes the protein histidinol dehydrogenase, which catalyzes the conversion of histidinol to the amino acid histidine. Histidinol is toxic to mammalian cells, while histidine is an essential mammalian amino acid. Consequently, growth selection in cultures with media containing histidinol in place of histidine occurs by both histidine starvation and histidinol poisoning. The hisD selection is being tested for potential use in gene targeting experiments with mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Currently, most successful gene targeting experiments use primary embryonic fibroblast feeder layers, which assist in the maintenance of the pluripotential state of the embryonic stem cells. To support ES cell stability under histidinol selection, mice transgenic for the S. typhimurium hisD gene have been produced and used to generate embryonic fibroblast feeder cells. The transgenic embryonic fibroblasts survive under a wide range of histidinol-containing growth conditions and support growth of ES cell cultures.[1]


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