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Replication, segregation, gene expression, and inheritance are essential features of all eukaryotic chromosomes. To delineate the extent of conservation of chromosome functions between humans and plants during evolutionary history, we have generated the first human cell line containing an Arabidopsis chromosome. The Arabidopsis chromosome was mitotically stable in hybrid cells following cell division, and initially existed as a translocated chromosome. During culture, the translocated chromosomes then converted to two types of independent plant chromosomes without human DNA sequences, with reproducibility. One pair of localization signals of CENP-A, a marker of functional centromeres was detected in the Arabidopsis genomic region in independent plant chromosomes. These results suggest that the chromosome maintenance system was conserved between human and plants. Furthermore, the expression of plant endogenous genes was observed in the hybrid cells, implicating that the plant chromosomal region existed as euchromatin in a human cell background and the gene expression system is conserved between two organisms. The present study suggests that the essential chromosome functions are conserved between evolutionarily distinct organisms such as humans and plants. Systematic analyses of hybrid cells may lead to the production of a shuttle vector between animal and plant, and a platform for the genome writing.


Naoki Wada, Yasuhiro Kazuki, Kanako Kazuki, Toshiaki Inoue, Kiichi Fukui, Mitsuo Oshimura. Maintenance and Function of a Plant Chromosome in Human Cells. ACS synthetic biology. 2017 Feb 17;6(2):301-310

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PMID: 27696824

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