Complete reduction of p53 expression by RNA interference following heterozygous knockout in porcine fibroblasts

  • Young June Kim
  • Tae-Hyun Kim
  • Minjeong Kim
  • Min Ju Kim
  • Hae-Won Kim
  • Hosup ShimEmail author


Tumor suppressor p53 plays a critical role in the regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis in mammals. Mutations of p53 often cause various cancers. Murine models have improved our understanding on tumorigenesis associated with p53 mutations. However, mice and humans are different in many ways. For example, the short lifespans of mice limit the clinical application of the data obtained from this species. Porcine model could be an alternative as pigs share many anatomical and physiological similarities with humans. Here, we modified the expression levels of p53 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein in porcine fetal fibroblasts using a combination of gene targeting and RNA interference. First, we disrupted the p53 gene to produce p53 knockout (KO) cells. Second, the p53 shRNA expression vector was introduced into fibroblasts to isolate p53 knockdown (KD) cells. We obtained p53 KO, KD, and KO + KD fibroblasts which involve p53 KO and KD either separately or simultaneously. The mRNA expression of p53 in p53 KO fibroblasts was similar to that in the wild-type control. However, the mRNA expression levels of p53 in KD and KO + KD cells were significantly decreased. The p53 protein level significant reduced in p53 KD. Interestingly, no p53 protein was detected in KO + KD, suggesting a complete reduction of the protein by synergistic effect of KO and KD. This study demonstrated that various expression levels of p53 in porcine fibroblasts could be achieved by gene targeting and RNA interference. Moreover, complete abolishment of protein expression is feasible using a combination of gene targeting and RNA interference.


Knockout Knockdown p53 Pig 



This research was supported by a grant (PJ011375) from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program, Rural Development Administration, a grant (2014034046) supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program, and a grant (2009–0093829) supported by the Priority Research Centers Program through National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young June Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tae-Hyun Kim
    • 3
  • Minjeong Kim
    • 1
  • Min Ju Kim
    • 1
  • Hae-Won Kim
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hosup Shim
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nanobiomedical Science and BK21 PLUS NBM Global Research Center for Regenerative MedicineDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Institute of Green Bioscience and TechnologySeoul National UniversityPyeongchangSouth Korea
  3. 3.Institute of Tissue Regeneration EngineeringDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea

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