neomycin-G418 confusion

'Mike' Michael J. Moser moser at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed Oct 28 12:00:13 EST 1998


Neomycin cannot be used to select mammalian cells.  If it could it
wouldn't make a very good antibiotic for use in medicine.  For example in
eye infection ointments the neomycin would kill the cells in your eye... 
The confusion results from the fact that neomycin, kanamycin and G418 are
all similar compounds known as aminoglycosides that can be inhibited by
the product of the neo gene, neomycin phosphotransferase.  G418 is
specific for the eukaryotic ribosome while the others more specifically
inhibit the bacterial organelle.  I believe that G418 works in bacteria,
but at the price I'd rather use kanamycin.  BTW be sure to use low salt LB
(5 g/l NaCl) or the kanamycin selection will wotk poorly if at all. 

Good luck with it!

Mike Moser                                            Tel: 206-543-6585
UW Department of Pathology                            FAX: 206-543-3967
Box 357705                                       moser at u.washington.edu
Seattle, WA  98195                 http://weber.u.washington.edu/~moser

On Wed, 28 Oct 1998, Martin Offterdinger wrote:

> Hi everyone!
> There is some confusion about the antibiotics neomycin and G418 (The
> same as geneticin). In the Clontech catalogue you  can read that a
> specific EGFPvector can be selected with kanamycin in bacteria and
> with neomycin in eukaryotic cells as it carries the kan/neo resistance
> gene. I therefore ordered Kanamycin and Neomycin as I want to generate
> a stable cell line. Now I realize that Neomycin seems to be
> ineffective in eukaryotic cells and that G418 has to be used for
> eukaryotic cells.
> You can imagine that  I am quite angry about those guys from clontech,
> who put wrong informations into their catalogue. 
> So my question is which information is correct: Can neomycin be used
> in eukaryotic( mammalian ) cells for selection purposes or not??? And
> : Why is there so much confusion about neo- resistance and G418
> selection?
> Martin
> Martin Offterdinger
> Internal Med.I,Dept. Oncology
> University of Vienna
> Austria
> E-Mail:a8803349.nospam at unet.univie.ac.at
> (remove .nospam before mailing)

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