Pathway Mutants in Mammalian Cells and Their Contribution to the Analysis of Drug Resistance

  • Gérard Buttin
  • Michelle Debatisse
  • Bruno Robert de Saint Vincent
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 50)


The isolation by Beadle and Tatum (1) of Neurospora mutants with altered anabolic activity was a landmark in biology; the mutant hunt which followed these pioneer experiments became an essential tool in the reconstruction of the main pathways which govern the metabolic activity of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. The analysis of metabolic steps in mammals and man did not rely as deeply on the genetic approach but it was largely guided by the information gained from these studies. Today most mammalian anabolic and catabolic pathways have been reconstructed; their enzymes have been extensively purified and controls exerted on their activity by a variety of regulatory effectors have been demonstrated. Yet an important part of the activity of somatic cell geneticists remains devoted to the isolation and characterization of pathway mutants. Their efforts are directed towards solving three main problems: (a) the nature of heritable variation in cultured mammalian cells, which was a source of considerable speculations, has been clarified in a limited number of systems only; (b) the availability of genetic markers necessary for the selection of cells which have acquired foreign genetic information remains a limiting factor in\cell hybridization and gene transfer, and, more generally, in all rapidly expanding experiments of cellular engineering;


Chinese Hamster Cell Pathway Mutant Somatic Cell Genetic Endogenous Pathway Chinese Hamster Fibroblast 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérard Buttin
    • 1
  • Michelle Debatisse
    • 1
  • Bruno Robert de Saint Vincent
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche en Biologie Moléculaire (CNRS)Paris Cedex 05France

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