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Am J Hum Genet. 1985 Nov;37(6):1192-205.

Thymidylate synthase-deficient Chinese hamster cells: a selection system for human chromosome 18 and experimental system for the study of thymidylate synthase regulation and fragile X expression.


Chinese hamster lung (CHL) V79 cells already deficient in hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase were exposed to uv light and selected for mutations causing deficiency of thymidylate synthase (TS) by their resistance to aminopterin in the presence of thymidine and limiting amounts of methyl tetrahydrofolate. Three of seven colonies chosen for initial study were shown to be thymidylate synthase deficient (TS-) by enzyme assay, thymidine auxotrophy, and their inability to incorporate labeled deoxyuridine into their DNA in vivo. Complementation analysis of human X TS- hamster hybrids revealed that TS activity segregated with human chromosome 18. Southern analysis of a panel of 14 human X hamster hybrids probed with complementary DNA from mouse TS confirmed the chromosome assignment of TS to human chromosome 18; quantitative Southern blotting using unbalanced human cell lines further localized the gene to 18q21.31----qter. Another hybrid was generated that contained a human X chromosome with the Xq28 folate-dependent fragile site as its only human chromosome in a hamster TS- background. The fragile site could be easily and reproducibly expressed in this hybrid without the use of antimetabolites simply by removing exogenous thymidine from the medium. These TS-deficient cells are useful for: somatic cell genetics as a unique selectable marker for human chromosome 18, studies on regulation of the TS gene, and analysis of the fragile (X) chromosome and other folate-dependent fragile sites.

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