Brain Cells in Culture: Morphological Transformation by a Protein

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Science  05 Jul 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4145, pp. 63-66
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4145.63


One type of elmbryonic rat brain cell having an epithelioid morphology in the monolayer culture can be transformed by brain extract into cells having extensive processes resembling mature astrocytes. The transforming factor is a protein with a molecular weight of 350,000. A partially purified sample showed that it is active at a concentration as low as 1 x 10-8M. The transforming actvity is high in adult brains but low in embryonic brains and tumors of the nervous systems.