Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

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.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Lane, C. D., Marbaix, G. & Gurdon, J. B. J. molec. Biol. 61, 73–91 (1971).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Hill, M. & Huppert, J. Biochim. biophys. Acta 312, 26–35 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Furusawa, M., Nishimura, T., Yamaizumi, M. & Okada, Y. Nature 249, 449–450 (1974).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Loyter, A., Zakai, N. & Kulka, R. G. J. Cell Biol. 66, 292–304 (1975).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Maeyer-Guignard, J., Maeyer, E. & Montagnier, L. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 69, 1203–1207 (1972).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Graessmann, A. Expl Cell Res. 60, 373–382 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Stacey, D. W. & Allfrey, V. G. Cell 9, 725–732 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dimitriadis, G. J. FEBS Lett. 86, 289–293 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Dimitriadis, G. J. Nucleic Acids Res. 5, 1381–1386 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Mayhew, E., Papahadjopoulos, D., O'Malley, J. A., Carter, W. A. & Vail, W. J. Molec. Pharmac. 13, 488–495 (1977).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Papahadjopoulos, D., Vail, W. J., Jacobson, K. & Poste, G. Biochim. biophys. Acta 394, 483–491 (1975).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Weissmann, G. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 72, 88–92 (1975).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Heywood, S. M. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 67, 1782–1788 (1970).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Prichard, P. M., Picciano, D. G., Laycock, D. G. & Anderson, W. F. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 68, 2752–2756 (1971).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Stavnezer, J. & Huang, R. C. C. Nature new Biol. 230, 172 (1971).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Dimitriadis, G. J. & Georgatsos, J. G. FEBS Lett. 46, 96–100 (1974).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dimitriadis, G. J. & Georgatsos, J. G. Nucleic Acids Res. 2, 1719–1726 (1975).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Craig, R. K., Brown, P. A., Harrison, O. S., McIlreavy, D. & Campbell, P. N. Biochem. J. 160, 57–74 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Laemmli, U. K. Nature 227, 680–685 (1970).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Harris, R. & Ukaejiofo, E. O. Br. J. Haemat. 18, 229–235 (1970).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Avrameas, S. Immunochemistry 6, 43–52 (1969).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Ternynck, T. & Avrameas, S. FEBS Lett. 23, 24–28 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Bonner, W. M. & Laskey, R. A. Eur. J. Biochem. 46, 83–88 (1974).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing