DNA Mediated Gene Transfer between Mammalian Cells

  • K. Willecke
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 31)


The experimental transfer and expression of donor genetic material in recipient cells constitutes an assay for the biological function of DNA. If purified DNA can be used for gene transfer, one can possibly study the effects of structural modification, for example by enzymes, heat or X-rays on the biological function of DNA. Since cell culture became a routine method of cell biology, numerous attempts have been reported to demonstrate DNA mediated transfer and functional expression of donor genes in mammalian recipient cells. Most experiments of this kind with mammalian cells have been devised according to the successful DNA mediated gene transfer worked out with bacteria (transformation). In this review the expression “transformation” is only used for DNA mediated gene transfer in bacteria and yeast. Mammalian cell clones which harbour or express a transferred DNA sequence (“transgenome”) are called “transferent cells” (1). Since it can be expected that genes coding for neoplastic transformation will eventually also be transferred to mammalian recipient cells by chromosome or DNA mediated gene transfer, it would create unnecessary confusion if the expression “transformation” (in the sense of gene transfer) is also used for mammalian cells.


Thymidine Kinase Recipient Cell Chinese Hamster Cell Thymidine Kinase Activity Mediate Gene Transfer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Willecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Zellbiologie (Tumorforschung)Universität EssenEssenFed. Rep. Germany

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