Standard Article

Mammalian Artificial Chromosomes (MACs)

  1. Christine J Farr,
  2. Jennifer M Spence

Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005671



How to Cite

Farr, C. J. and Spence, J. M. 2006. Mammalian Artificial Chromosomes (MACs). eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2006


By analogy with yeast artificial chromosomes, a mammalian artificial chromosome (MAC) would be a molecule of defined structure comprising combinations of various cloned or synthesized chromosomal elements that had been individually manipulated, tested and optimized as part of a controlled construction process. De novo human chromosomes have been produced through cell-mediated assembly processes and these, together with minichromosomes generated by manipulating existing chromosomes, are providing the basis for developing the first MAC-based vectors for use in vertebrate cells.


  • minichromosome;
  • α-satellite;
  • epigenetics;
  • telomere;
  • origin