Abstract: Recently, we described a simplified injection method for producing transgenic pigs using a non-autonomous Sleeping Beauty transposon system. The founder animals showed ubiquitous expression of the Venus fluorophore in almost all cell types. To assess, whether expression of the reporter fluorophore affects animal welfare or fecundity, we analyzed reproductive parameters of two founder boars, germ line transmission, and organ and cell specific transgene expression in animals of the F1 and F2 generation. Molecular analysis of ejaculated sperm cells suggested three monomeric integrations of the Venus transposon in both founders. To test germ line transmission of the three monomeric transposon integrations, wild-type sows were artificially inseminated. The offspring were nursed to sexual maturity and hemizygous lines were established. A clear segregation of the monomeric transposons following the Mendelian rules was observed in the F1 and F2 offspring. Apparently, almost all somatic cells, as well as oocytes and spermatozoa, expressed the Venus fluorophore at cell-type specific levels. No detrimental effects of Venus expression on animal health or fecundity were found. Importantly, all hemizygous lines expressed the fluorophore in comparable levels, and no case of transgene silencing or variegated expression was found after germ line transmission, suggesting that the insertions occurred at transcriptionally permissive loci. The results show that Sleeping Beauty transposase-catalyzed transposition is a promising approach for stable genetic modification of the pig genome.
Keywords: transgenic animal; germ line transmission; active transgenesis; hyperactive transposase; humanized pig model; livestock, cytoplasmic plasmid injection; gene silencing; permissive locus
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Garrels, W.; Holler, S.; Cleve, N.; Niemann, H.; Ivics, Z.; Kues, W.A. Assessment of Fecundity and Germ Line Transmission in Two Transgenic Pig Lines Produced by Sleeping Beauty Transposition. Genes 2012, 3, 615-633.
Garrels W, Holler S, Cleve N, Niemann H, Ivics Z, Kues WA. Assessment of Fecundity and Germ Line Transmission in Two Transgenic Pig Lines Produced by Sleeping Beauty Transposition. Genes. 2012; 3(4):615-633.
Garrels, Wiebke; Holler, Stephanie; Cleve, Nicole; Niemann, Heiner; Ivics, Zoltan; Kues, Wilfried A. 2012. "Assessment of Fecundity and Germ Line Transmission in Two Transgenic Pig Lines Produced by Sleeping Beauty Transposition." Genes 3, no. 4: 615-633.