Single-copy and amplified CAD genes in Syrian hamster chromosomes localized by a highly sensitive method for in situ hybridization

Mol Cell Biol. 1982 Mar;2(3):308-19. doi: 10.1128/mcb.2.3.308-319.1982.


Syrian hamster cells resistant to N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate (PALA), a specific inhibitor of the aspartate transcarbamylase activity of the multifunctional protein CAD, overproduce this protein as a result of amplification of the CAD gene. We have used a sensitive in situ hybridization technique to localize CAD genomes in spreads of metaphase chromosomes from several independent PALA-resistant lines and from wild-type PALA-sensitive cells. The amplified genes were always found within chromosomes, usually in an expanded region of the short arm of chromosome B9. In wild-type cells, the CAD gene was also on the short arm of chromosome B9. In one mutant line, 90 to 100 CAD genes were found within an expanded B9 chromosome and 10 to 15 more were near the distal end of one arm of several different chromosomes. Another line contained most the genes in a telomeric chromosome or large chromosome fragment. The amplified genes were in chromosomal regions that were stained in a banded pattern by trypsin-Giemsa. A few double minute chromosomes were observed in a very small fraction of the total spreads examined. The it situ hybridizations were performed in the presence of 10% dextral sulfate 500, which increases the signal by as much as 100-fold. Using recombinant DNA plasmids nick-translated with [125I]dCTP to high specific radioactivity, 10 CAD genes in a single chromosomal region were revealed after 1 week of autoradiographic exposure, and the position of the unique gene could be seen after 1 month.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Dextrans / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Amplification
  • Karyotyping
  • Kidney
  • Mesocricetus
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / pharmacology


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Dextrans
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Aspartic Acid
  • sparfosic acid
  • DNA
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid