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J Photochem Photobiol B. 1989 Apr;3(2):143-55.

Shuttle vectors for studying mutagenesis in mammalian cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, UPR 50/C.N.R.S., Institut de Recherches Scientifiques sur le Cancer, Villejuif, France.


Shuttle vectors are DNA plasmids able to replicate in both mammalian cells and bacteria. They have been used to examine rapidly various aspects of DNA repair, recombination and mutagenesis. Three main classes of shuttle vector have been developed. The transiently replicating vectors are usually based on Simian Virus 40 replication origin. The episomal vectors based on the Epstein-Barr virus replication replicate almost permanently in host cells. Different biological systems, including retroviral vectors, allow the integration of a target gene into the chromosomal structure of the infected cells. In all cases, low molecular weight DNA can be recovered from mammalian cells and shuttled back to bacteria for mutagenesis screening. The advantages and disadvantages of these different types of shuttle vectors are discussed with a special emphasis on their use for a rapid analysis of mutation spectra in mammalian cells.

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