Expression of a transposable antibiotic resistance element in Saccharomyces

Nature. 1980 Oct 30;287(5785):869-71. doi: 10.1038/287869a0.


Some eukaryotic genes can be expressed in bacteria but there are few examples of the expression of prokaryotic genes in eukaryotes. Antibiotic G418 is a 2-deoxystreptamine antibiotic that is structurally related to gentamicin but has inhibitory activity against a much wider variety of pro- and eukaryotic organisms. In bacteria, resistance to G418 can be determined by several plasmid-encoded modifiying enzymes and, in view of the broad spectrum of activity of G418, we considered that this antibiotic might be useful as a selective agent for the introduction of these antibiotic resistance genes into a eukaryotic organism such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Additional impetus for these experiments came from the knowledge that certain of the G418-resistance determinants in bacteria are carried on transposable elements; a study of the properties of these elements in eukaryotes would be intriguing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriocin Plasmids
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Recombinant