An important way that precancerous cells evade a checkpoint that normally stops their growth has been discovered by Salk Institute scientists. Their study, which also has implications for aging, was published in the journal Molecular Cell. Jan Karlseder was senior author; Anthony J. Cesare was lead author. The study can be found at this link.
To gain insightful information about the mechanisms through which genes are activated and repressed requires gene reporter systems that are sensitive, robust, and cost-effective. Although numerous reporter gene technologies are commercially available, none are as sophisticated and user-friendly as Î²-lactamase (BLA) when it comes to studying gene expression in live cells. This article presents an overview of the BLA technology and describes how it can be exploited for studying rare events such as homologous recombination in somatic cells and be used to deliver any DNA sequence of choice anywhere within the genome.