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Cell. 1983 Nov;35(1):157-65.

Evidence for intrachromosomal gene conversion in cultured mouse cells.


In this report we present an experimental scheme that facilitates the study of homologous recombination between closely linked genes in cultured mammalian cells. Two different Xho I linker insertion mutants of the herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HTK) gene were introduced into mouse LTK- cells as direct repeats on a plasmid carrying a dominant selectable marker. Following stabilization of these sequences in the recipient cell, selection for TK+ was applied to detect recombinational events between different TK- genes. TK+ segregants were observed at a frequency of 10(-4)-10(-5) in lines harboring both mutant genes. Control lines carrying only one type of mutant HTK gene yielded TK+ cells at frequencies of 10(-7) or less. Physical analysis of the TK+ segregants has revealed the presence of an apparently normal HTK gene that is resistant to Xho l endonuclease digestion in each TK+ line examined. Analyses of the TK gene pairs before and after recombination suggest that at least 50% of the recombinants are the result of nonreciprocal exchanges of genetic information, or gene conversion events.

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