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Mol Biotechnol. 2006 Nov;34(3):337-54.

Multiple strategies for gene transfer, expression, knockdown, and chromatin influence in mammalian cell lines and transgenic animals.

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Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Departamento de Genética Molecular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Apartado Postal 70-242, México D.F. 04510.


Manipulation of the eukaryotic genome has contributed to the progress in our knowledge of multicellular organisms but has also ameliorated our experimental strategies. Biological questions can now be addressed with more efficiency and reproducibility. There are new and varied strategies for gene transfer and sequence manipulation with improved methodologies that facilitate the acquisition of results. Cellular systems and transgenic animals have demonstrated their invaluable benefits. In this review, I present an overview of the methods of gene transfer with particular attention to cultured cell lines and large-scale sequence vectors, like artificial chromosomes, with the possibility of their manipulation based on homologous recombination strategies. Alternative strategies of gene transfer, including retroviral vectors, are also described and the applications of such methods are discussed. Finally, several comments are made about the influence of chromatin structure on gene expression. Recent experimental data have shown that for convenient stable transgene expression, the influence of chromatin structure should be seriously taken into account. Novel chromatin regulatory and structural elements are proposed as an alternative for proper and sustained gene expression. These chromatin elements are facing a new era in transgenesis and we are probably beginning a new generation of gene and cancer therapy vectors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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