Immunochemical methods were used to identify the genetic origin of hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) expressed in heteroploid, HPRT-deficient mouse (A9) cells and Chinese hamster ovary (K627) cells, after these cells were fused with chick embryo erythrocytes and selected for resistance to hypoxanthine-aminopterin-thymidine (HAT) medium. All of the HAT-selected clones produced HPRT activity which was immunoprecipitable by an antiserum specific for chick HPRT, but not by an antiserum specific for mouse and hamster HPRT. Furthermore, the HPRT activity in these clones was electrophoretically indistinguishable from chick liver HPRT and clearly different from mouse liver HPRT. These data provide evidence that the HPRT activity expressed in cell hybrids produced by the fusion of HPRT-negative mammalian cells and chick erythrocytes containing genetically inactive nuclei is indeed coded by the chick HPRT gene and that an avian gene can be stably incorporated and correctly expressed in a mammalian cell.

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