Stable integration of large PAC constructs in keratinocytes.
Transfer of P1-derived artificial chromosome (PAC) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into keratinocytes is an extremely important technique that enables functional studies of keratinocyte-specific genes to be performed and genomic gene therapy for inherited and acquired diseases to be attempted. Ex vivo gene therapy approaches are possible using well-established conditions for keratinocyte culture and grafting, whilst the skin is the most accessible organ for administering in vivo therapy. PAC vectors lack relevant reporter genes to distinguish transfected mammalian cells from the non-transfected background, or to select clones in which the PAC construct has stably integrated into the genome. In this chapter, protocols to retrofit a reporter gene cassette will be described, together with techniques for transfecting large PAC constructs into keratinocytes without breakage. Protocols to select for stable integrants and to assess the integration event(s) within the keratinocyte genome will also be provided.