Cell fusion

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As a cell fusion (also cell fusion or Synzytose ) is the fusion of the plasma membranes of two cells , respectively. It belongs to the so-called green genetic engineering methods .

It occurs spontaneously, but can also be brought about in Petri dishes (e.g. by electrical impulses, polyethylene glycol or by the attachment of inactivated viruses to the plasma membrane).

If only the cell membranes fuse, the resulting hybrid cell has two cell nuclei , it is called a heterokaryon ( cybride ). If the nuclear membranes also fuse , the result is a cell with only one nucleus, but four times the set of chromosomes . The fusion of two cells is an essential step in the hybridoma technology for the production of monoclonal antibodies . It is also used in agriculture for the controversial CMS process .

Cell fusion occurs naturally with syncytia formation by fusogenic proteins .


  • H. Harris: Cell fusion , 1970, Harvard University Press, Mass.
  • R. Borgens et al .: Cell Fusion and some subcellular Properties of heterokaryons and hybrids , Journal of Cell Biology , VOLUME 67, 1975, pages 257-280