Alpha-complementation in mammalian cells?

Ben Murray bmurray at
Wed Jul 3 10:51:50 EST 1996

I would like to use alpha-complementation of E. coli beta-galactosidase (lacZ) 
to detect changes in gene expression in transfected mammalian cells (or 
perhaps in transgenic mice).  That is, I would like to detect the expression 
of the small amino-terminal lacZ fragment by intra-allelic complementation 
with the carboxyl terminal lacZ fragment that either had been previously 
transfected into the same cell line or was incorporated into a different 
expression cassette in the same plasmid.  Can anyone point me to references 
(or describe experiences) in which something like this has been successfully 
accomplished in mammalian cells or mice?  Thanks!

Ben Murray
University of California, Irvine
bamurray at

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