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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760


FELMER, RICARDO N  and  CLARK, JOHN A. The gene suicide system NTR/CB1954 causes ablation of differentiated 3T3L1 adipocytes by apoptosis. Biol. Res. [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.3, pp.449-460. ISSN 0716-9760.

The feasibility of ablating differentiated adipocytes and the mechanism of cell ablation with a suitable prodrug activating system is described. The system is based on the use of E. coli nitroreductase (NTR) enzyme that activates certain nitro compounds, such as the antitumor drug CB1954, into cytotoxic DNA interstrand cross-linking agents. Differentiated preadipocyte cells (3T3L1) transfected with an aP2 driven nitroreductase construct were efficiently killed after incubation with medium containing the prodrug CB1954, while untransfected cells were not affected. It was demonstrated that the mechanism of cell ablation is apoptosis and that the system has a bystander effect mediated by a toxic metabolite of the prodrug. The described system should provide a good alternative approach for gene therapy studies and a new inducible approach to manipulating the number of cells in tissues of transgenic animals and the ability to study the recovery of the tissue from cell damage or loss

Keywords : genetic ablation; NTR/CB1954; adipocytes; differentiation.

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