Primary transgenic bovine cells and their rejuvenated cloned equivalents show transgene-specific epigenetic differences.
Cell-mediated transgenesis, based on somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), provides the opportunity to shape the genetic make-up of cattle. Bovine primary fetal fibroblasts, commonly used cells for SCNT, have a limited lifespan, and complex genetic modifications that require sequential transfections can be challenging time and cost-wise. To overcome these limitations, SCNT is frequently used to rejuvenate the cell lines and restore exhausted growth potential. We have designed a construct to be used in a 2-step cassette exchange experiment. Our transgene contains a puromycin resistance marker gene and an enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) expression cassette, both driven by a strong mammalian promoter, and flanked by loxP sites and sequences from the bovine β-casein locus. Several transgenic cell lines were generated by random insertion into primary bovine cell lines. Two of these original cell lines were rederived by SCNT and new primary cells, with the same genetic makeup as the original donors, were established. While the original cell lines were puromycin-resistant and had a characteristic EGFP expression profile, all rejuvenated cell lines were sensitive to puromycin, and displayed varied EGFP expression, indicative of various degrees of silencing. When the methylation states of individual CpG sites within the transgene were analyzed, a striking increase in transgene-specific methylation was observed in all rederived cell lines. The results indicate that original transgenic donor cells and their rejuvenated derivatives may not be equivalent and differ in the functionality of their transgene sequences.
AgResearch Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand.
SourcePloS one 7:4 2012 pg e35619
Animals, Genetically Modified
Nuclear Transfer Techniques
Promoter Regions, Genetic
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't