L. Thompson, S. Fong, K. Brookman
Feb 1, 1980
Conditions for reliable and efficient assay of mutations affecting the activity of HPRT (hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase EC 126.96.36.199) and APRT (adenine phosphoribosyltransferase EC 188.8.131.52) have been determined for a strain of CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells that has been adapted for rapid growth both in suspension culture and in monolayer. To facilitate measurement of mutation at the aprt locus, clones were derived that are presumptively heterozygous at that locus. At a limiting concentration of 8 microgram/ml of azaadenine, 14/16 of the resistant clones picked and tested had approximately 1/2 of the APRT activity of the wild-type cells. One such clone, strain AA8, was chosen for further studies and found to be readily mutable to resistance to 80 microgram/ml azaadenine. Most of the highly resistant colonies isolated (21/24) had very low in vitro APRT activity. The optimal conditions for detection of TGr and AAr mutations were determined for two critical parameters, expression time and cell density. Cultures treated with mutagen either in monolayer or in suspension were allowed to express mutations in suspension. The expression of mutations induced by UV light, EMS, and ICR-191 was complete by 3 days for AAr and by 4-5 days for TGr. The time required to reach a maximal frequency of mutants was essentially independent of the type of mutagen and the level of survival after treatment. Induced mutation frequencies for both loci were notably stable during the time intervals examined. With respect to cell-density conditions, both markers were detected at frequencies that were independent of the cell inocula over the range of 1 x 10(5) to 1 x 10(6) cells per 100-mm petri dish (i.e. 1.6 x 10(3) to 1.6 x 10(4) cells/cm2) containing 20 ml of medium. These results were obtained with both mutagenized populations and with reconstructed mixtures obtained by adding drug-resistant cells to varying numbers of wild-type cells. The rapid expression of mutations for both markers, particularly AAr, combined with the advantage that large inocula can be plated for selection of mutants, make this CHO strain an attractive system for the simultaneous measurement of mutations at the autosomal aprt and X-linked hprt loci.