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Nature. 1980 Oct 30;287(5785):869-71.

Expression of a transposable antibiotic resistance element in Saccharomyces.


Some eukaryotic genes can be expressed in bacteria but there are few examples of the expression of prokaryotic genes in eukaryotes. Antibiotic G418 is a 2-deoxystreptamine antibiotic that is structurally related to gentamicin but has inhibitory activity against a much wider variety of pro- and eukaryotic organisms. In bacteria, resistance to G418 can be determined by several plasmid-encoded modifiying enzymes and, in view of the broad spectrum of activity of G418, we considered that this antibiotic might be useful as a selective agent for the introduction of these antibiotic resistance genes into a eukaryotic organism such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Additional impetus for these experiments came from the knowledge that certain of the G418-resistance determinants in bacteria are carried on transposable elements; a study of the properties of these elements in eukaryotes would be intriguing.

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