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Translation of rabbit globin mRNA introduced by liposomes into mouse lymphocytes


SEVERAL interesting questions in developmental biology can be studied by the combination of messenger RNA from one kind of cell with the translational apparatus of another cell type. Such experiments can provide proof of the identity of a mRNA and can yield information regarding the species and cell-type specificities of translation systems. The first successful approach to this problem was that taken by Lane et al.1 who injected globin mRNA into frog oocytes. However, results obtained using the oocyte, which is an unspecialised cell, cannot necessarily be extended to the translational apparatus of more specialised cells. Many workers have tried to introduce informational macromolecules directly into differentiated cells, using a variety of methods2–6. Stacey et al. have translated duck globin mRNA after injection into HeLa cells7. We have demonstrated8,9 the entrapment of ribonucleic acids of different sizes (28S, 18S, 9S and 4S) in large unilamellar liposomes. Such entrapped macromolecules are protected from ribonucleases and can be isolated both intact and biologically active8. Moreover, fusion of these liposomes yields RNA-filled cells9. We present here evidence that rabbit reticulocyte 9S mRNA introduced into mouse spleen lymphocytes directs the synthesis of globin.

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DIMITRIADIS, G. Translation of rabbit globin mRNA introduced by liposomes into mouse lymphocytes. Nature 274, 923–924 (1978).

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