A new selective system for isolating somatic cell hybrids, using adenosine kinase as the selective marker, has been developed. The selective medium for forward selection (to select for cells containing adenosine kinase) contains alanosine, adenosine and uridine. To survive in the presence of alanosine, cells must have adenosine kinase in order to utilize exogenous adenosine as the sole source of AMP. Uridine is added to the selective medium to prevent the toxic effects of adenosine on cultured mammalian cells. The selective medium for reverse selection (to select for cells lacking adenosine kinase) contains 2-fluoroadenosine, an analogue of adenosine, which is converted to a toxic nucleotide by the action of adenosine kinase. Mouse mutant cell lines deficient in adenosine kinase have been derived. Human-mouse hybrid cells containing the kinase have been prepared from one of these mutant lines. Karyotype data of these hybrid lines and their adenosine kinase-minus sublines are consistent with assignment by others of the human gene for adenosine kinase on chromosome 10.
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