Title

Functional gene transfer from intracellular bacteria to mammalian host cells

ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Nature Biotechnology

ISSN

1087-0156

Volume

16

First Page

862

Last Page

866

Publication Date

9-1-1998

Abstract

We provide evidence of direct transfer of functional DNA from bacteria to mammalian cells. An Escherichia coli K12 diaminopimelate auxotroph made invasive by cloning the invasin gene from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis transfers DNA after simple co-incubation, into a variety of mammalian cell lines. Transfer efficiency was enhanced in some cells by coexpression of the gene for listeriolysin from Listeria monocytogenes. Expression of the acquired genes occurs in both dividing in quiescent cells. The only requirement for bacteria to transfer genetic materials into nonprofessional phagocytic cells and macrophages is the ability to invade the host cell.