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, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 371–384

First Online: 21 April 2011Received: 25 November 2010Accepted: 17 March 2011DOI: 10.1007-s10616-011-9354-9

Cite this article as: Van Blokland, H.J.M., Hoeksema, F., Siep, M. et al. Cytotechnology 2011 63: 371. doi:10.1007-s10616-011-9354-9


The efficient establishment of high protein producing recombinant mammalian cell lines is facilitated by the use of a stringent selection system. Here, we describe two methods to create a stringent selection system based on the Zeocin resistance marker. First, we cloned increasingly longer stretches of DNA, encoding a range of 8–131 amino acids immediately upstream of the Zeocin selection marker gene. The DNA stretches were separated from the open reading frame of the selection marker gene by a stopcodon. The idea behind this was that the translation machinery will first translate the small peptide, stop and then restart at the AUG of the Zeocin marker. This process, however, will become less efficient with increasingly longer stretches of DNA upstream of the Zeocin marker that has to be translated first. This would result in lower levels of the Zeocin selection marker protein and thus a higher selection stringency of the system. Secondly, we performed a genetic screen to identify PCR induced mutations in the Zeocin selection protein that functionally impair the selection marker protein. Both the insertion of increasingly longer peptides and several Zeocin selection protein mutants resulted in a decreasing number of stably transfected colonies that concomitantly displayed higher protein expression levels. When the Zeocin mutants were combined with very short small peptides 8–14 amino acids long, this created a flexible, high stringency selection system. The system allows the rapid establishment of few, but high protein producing mammalian cell lines.

KeywordsSelection marker Zeocin Mammalian cells Mutant selection markers Error Prone PCR Recombinant gene expression  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: H. J. M. Van Blokland - F. Hoeksema - M. Siep - A. P. Otte - J. A. Verhees


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