Establishing Cell Lines Overexpressing DR3 to Assess the Apoptotic Response to Anti-mitotic Therapeutics

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Studying the function of a gene of interest can be achieved by manipulating its level of expression, such as decreasing its expression with knockdown cell lines or increasing its expression with overexpression cell lines. Transient and stable transfection are two methods that are often used for exogenous gene expression. Transient transfection is only useful for short-term expression, whereas stable transfection allows exogenous genes to be integrated into the host cell genome where it will be continuously expressed. As a result, stable transfection is usually employed for research into long-term genetic regulation. Here we describe a simple protocol to generate a stable cell line overexpressing tagged death receptor 3 (DR3) to explore DR3 function. We picked single clones after a retroviral infection in order to maintain the homogeneity and purity of the stable cell lines. The stable cell lines generated using this protocol render DR3-deficient HT29 cells sensitive to antimitotic drugs, thus reconstituting the apoptotic response in HT29 cells. Moreover, the FLAG tag on DR3 compensates for the unavailability of good DR3 antibody and facilitates the biochemical study of the molecular mechanism by which antimitotic agents induce apoptosis.