, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 1125-1137
Date: 09 Jan 2011

Strategies for selection marker-free swine transgenesis using the Sleeping Beauty transposon system

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Swine transgenesis by pronuclear injection or cloning has traditionally relied on illegitimate recombination of DNA into the pig genome. This often results in animals containing concatemeric arrays of transgenes that complicate characterization and can impair long-term transgene stability and expression. This is inconsistent with regulatory guidance for transgenic livestock, which also discourages the use of selection markers, particularly antibiotic resistance genes. We demonstrate that the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system effectively delivers monomeric, multi-copy transgenes to the pig embryo genome by pronuclear injection without markers, as well as to donor cells for founder generation by cloning. Here we show that our method of transposon-mediated transgenesis yielded 38 cloned founder pigs that altogether harbored 100 integrants for five distinct transposons encoding either human APOBEC3G or YFP-Cre. Two strategies were employed to facilitate elimination of antibiotic genes from transgenic pigs, one based on Cre-recombinase and the other by segregation of independently transposed transgenes upon breeding.