We report that Xenopus laevis oocytes can efficiently translate and insert heterologous membrane receptors into the oocyte plasma membrane, where they can be detected by the binding of either monoclonal antibodies or ligands. Thus, oocytes injected with mRNA from the mouse J774 macrophage-like cell line, the rat RBL-1 basophilic leukemia, and the U937 promonocyte cell line, bound 2.4G2 Fab, rat IgE, and mouse IgG2a, respectively. The increase in the high avidity Fc gamma R observed after gamma-interferon induction of U937 cells was also observed after injection of mRNA from gamma-interferon-induced U937 cells into oocytes. This suggests either much greater message stability or a greater rate of transcription of Fc gamma Rhi mRNA in the gamma-interferon-induced cells. The assay affords a sensitive method for the detection of rare mRNA species that code for plasma membrane proteins.

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