Incorporation of tributyrin enhances the expression of a reporter gene in primary and immortalized cell lines

J. G. Smith, J. B. German, M. A. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Advancing the efficiently of foreign gene transfection can be accomplished by improving its DNA delivery or expression or varying the composition of the DNA construct. A novel method of enhancing gene expression by incorporating triacylglycerol into a transfection protocol is described. The triacylglycerol form of butyric and was chosen because the addition of the free fatty acid to cells increases gene transcription. The effect of this lipid moiety on transfected gene expression were determined for a range of promoters and cell types. In several cases, inclusion of tributyrin resulted in a greater increase in the production of the gene marker product luciferin than that found for the inclusion of free butyric acid. Overall, the relative effects of tributyrin and free butyric acid differ quite markedly for different cell types and promoters. Thus, tributyrin may be a viable alternative to butyric acid in transfection systems where the free fatty acid has little effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-855
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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