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

High-frequency transfer of cloned herpes simplex virus type 1 sequences to mammalian cells by protoplast fusion.

The protoplast fusion technique of Schaffner (W. Schaffner, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 77:2163-2167, 1980) has been adapted to introduce cloned herpes simplex virus genes into cultured mammalian cells. The technique involves digesting bacterial cell walls with lysozyme to produce protoplasts and then fusing the protoplasts to mammalian cells by treatment with polyethylene glycol. For monitoring transfer, protoplasts were labeled with the fluorescent dye fluorescein isothiocyanate before fusion. After fusion, greater than 50% of the mammalian cells were fluorescent, demonstrating that bacterial material was transferred with high frequency. Transfer of plasmid pBR325 occurred at frequencies of 1 to 2%, as measured by in situ hybridization. Fusion transfer of a chimeric plasmid consisting of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (strain KOS) EcoRI fragment F in pBR325 resulted in expression of some viral genomic sequences in about 5% of the mammalian cells, as detected by indirect immunofluorescence. One Ltk- cell in 300 to 500 was transformed to the TK+ phenotype after fusion with protoplasts carrying the chimeric plasmid pX1, which consists of pBR322 and the BamHI fragment coding for the herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase gene.[1]


  1. High-frequency transfer of cloned herpes simplex virus type 1 sequences to mammalian cells by protoplast fusion. Sandri-Goldin, R.M., Goldin, A.L., Levine, M., Glorioso, J.C. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1981) [Pubmed]
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