Use of Gene Transfer in the Isolation of Cell Surface Receptor Genes

  • Dan R. Littman
  • Moses V. Chao
Part of the Genetic Engineering book series (GEPM)


The study of cell surface receptors is essential for understanding means by which cells communicate with each other. In recent years, there has been a tremendous surge of interest in such molecules, in large part because several of them have been shown to be involved in regulation of cell growth. In particular, both the EGF and CSF-1 receptors have been shown to have oncogenic potential when expressed in altered form as viral oncogenes (1,2). Numerous cellular genes which encode cell surface receptors have been recently cloned, and studies using these genes are yielding valuable insight into mechanisms of cell activation and of cell-cell interaction. Most receptor genes have been isolated by conventional means involving protein purification and subsequent sequence determination. The receptors for epidermal growth factor (1), insulin (3), platelet-derived growth factor (4), and interleukin-2 (5) have been subjected to this approach. Other approaches have depended on enrichment of mRNA encoding the receptor; the low density lipoprotein receptor (6) and the T cell receptor (7) genes have been isolated by such means. We have employed an alternative approach which relies on DNA mediated gene transfer into mammalian cells and detection of the transfected gene product (Figure 1).


Single Copy Gene Herpes Simplex Thymidine Kinase Gene Double Minute Chromosome Rosetting Assay Transferrin Receptor Gene 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan R. Littman
    • 1
  • Moses V. Chao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of California, San Francisco School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyCornell University Medical SchoolNew YorkUSA

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