Mapping and cloning of genes from portions of the human genome using somatic cell hybrids

Pu Liu, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Human x rodent somatic cell hybrids have played an important role in human genetics research. They have been especially useful for assigning genes to chromosomes and isolating DNA markers from specific regions of the human genome. By employing a combination of somatic cell genetic, recombinant DNA, and cytogenetic techniques, human DNA excision repair gene ERCC4 was mapped regionally to human 16p13.13-13.2, even though the gene has not been cloned. Human x Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell hybrids selected for human ERCC4 activity and containing 16p13.1-p13.3 as the only human genetic material were identified. These hybrids were used to order DNA markers located in 16p13.1-p13.3. New DNA markers physically close to ERCC4 were isolated from such hybrids. Using amplified human DNA from the hybrids as probe in fluorescent in situ hybridization, the short arm breakpoint in the chromosome 16 inversion associated with acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) was found to be physically close to the ERCC4 gene. The physical mapping and eventually, the cloning of the ERCC4 gene, will benefit the understanding of the DNA repair system and the study of other important biomedical problems such as tumorigenesis. To facilitate the cloning of ERCC4 gene and, in general, the cloning of genes from any defined regions of the human genome, a method was developed for the direct isolation of human transcribed genes ffom somatic cell hybrids. cDNA was prepared from human x rodent hybrid by using consensus 5$\sp\prime$ splice site sequences as primers. These primers were designed to select immature, unspliced messenger RNA (still retaining species specific repeat sequences) as templates. Screening of a derived cDNA library for human repeat sequences resulted in the isolation of human clones at the anticipated frequency with characteristics expected of exons of transcribed human genes. The usefulness of the splice site specific primers was analyzed and the cDNA synthesis conditions with these primers were optimized. The procedure was shown to be sensitive enough to clone weakly expressed genes. Studying the expression of the represented genes with the isolated clones was shown to be feasible. Such regional specific human gene fragments will be very valuable for many human genetic studies such as the search of inherited disease genes and the construction of a cDNA map of the human genome.

Subject Area

Genetics|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Liu, Pu, "Mapping and cloning of genes from portions of the human genome using somatic cell hybrids" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9131554.