Expression of phenotypes in hybrid somatic cells derived from the nervous system

J. D. Minna, J. Yavelow, H. G. Coon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The techniques of somatic cell hybridization allow a genetic analysis of differentiated functions of mammalian cells in vitro. Clonal lines of mouse neuroblastoma cells expressing a variety of differentiated neuroectodermal functions have been fused to L cells not expressing these functions. The resulting NL hybrids, on a clonal basis, express a variety of parental and nonparental phenotypes. Some hybrid clones inherit the ability to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Ach) (expression of high levels of choline acetyltransferase, CAT) while others do not. The ability to synthesize Ach and the ability to degrade this neurotransmitter (high levels of acetylcholinesterase activity, AChE) appear to segregate independently in NL hybrid progeny. When a variety of clonal cell lines replicating in culture are fused to cells freshly derived from the embryonic nervous system, interesting phenotypes result in the hybrid progeny. Neuroblastoma x rodent nervous tissue hybrids express AChE and in a few instances have developed the ability to synthesize CAT. Transformed human fibroblasts fused to normal rodent nervous tissue yield hybrid progeny that retain human and segregate mouse chromosomes and isozymes. No expression of differentiated functions has yet been found in these latter hybrids but they are useful for mapping mouse genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
Issue numbersup.
StatePublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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