The Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell mutant, EM9, is defective in rejoining strand breaks, hypersensitive to chlorodeoxyuridine (CldUrd), and has a high frequency of sister-chromatid exchange (SCE). Somatic cell hybrids constructed from fusion of EM9 cells with normal human lymphocytes and fibroblasts, and selected in CldUrd, extensively segregate human chromosomes but preferentially retain markers of human chromosome 19. The SCE frequency in the hybrid clones is low as in normal CHO cells, but in CldUrd-sensitive subclones, which lose the human chromosome 19 markers, SCE frequencies return to mutant levels. We therefore assign a human gene designated repair complementing defective repair in Chinese-hamster (RCC) to chromosome 19. Since this is the second (of two) human genes complementing repair-deficiency mutations in CHO cells assigned to the 19, the assignment and organization of DNA-repair genes is discussed in the light of hemizygosity in CHO cells and the evolutionary conservation of mammalian linkage groups.
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