How can cells become transformed?

1 Answer
Jan 6, 2018

Prokaryotes like bacteria can be transformed when a foreign genetic material enters the bacteria through its membrane.
If a similar process happens to a eukaryotic cell then we talk about cancerogenesis and transfection.


  • Transformation is one of three processes in which the foreign genetic material can be introduced into the bacterial cell.
    Transformation (trans = over + form = shape), in molecular biology, is a genetic change of cells through direct input, incorporation and expression of foreign genetic material, transmitted through the cell membrane.
    *Picture 1. The naked DNA molecule is competent for transformation if it is in a twin-chain and relatively large. The transformation competent cells must have a protein - factor of competition in the DNA.
    When transforming into a recipient cell, only one chain of double-stranded DNA enters and is embedded in the host genome. The remaining single-stranded DNA (part of the original bacterial chromosome) will degrade enzyme exonucleases. After the whole process we have a new bacteria, a bateria with a new DNA. *

  • The term transformation is also possible in eukaryotes. However, as in the treatment of animal cells "transformation" has a special significance, in which it indicates the progression of cancerogenesis. The input of DNA into eukaryotic cells is usually called transfection.
    Picture 2. cancerogenesis
Picture 3. different methods of transfection