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J Biotechnol. 2003 Aug 15;103(3):197-202.

Comparison of hCMV immediate early and CaMV 35S promoters in both plant and human cells.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ-37005 Branisovská 31, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic.


Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, widely used in transgenic crop plants, is known to be recognized in widely differing kinds of cells. Its activity in human cells may have impact on the risk assessment for the environmental release of genetically modified plants. In this study, transient expression of several constructs containing beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene driven by cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter or by immediate early promoter of human cytomegalovirus (pCMV) was tested in both potato leaf protoplasts and cultured human cells. The results showed very low but measurable activity of 35S promoter in human 293T-cells (0.01% of that revealed when using pCMV) and in 293 cells that do not produce SV40 T antigen this activity was even lower. On the other hand, in potato protoplasts, pCMV displayed nearly 1% activity seen with p35S.

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