Howing GFP expression viewed using phase-contrast optics (left) or the same field under fluorescence illumination (right). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064613.gGene Attenuation in Cloned PigsProduction of Cloned Pigs from shRNA1 Transfected Fibroblast CellsThe transfer of 284 cloned embryos reconstructed from transfected fibroblasts to five recipient gilts resulted in the birth of 8 cloned piglets from 3 gilts (4, 2 and 2 piglets, respectively). One of the piglets (1 of 4) from one of the recipient gilt was stillborn. The remaining 7 piglets were healthy and had normal morphology at birth and weaning (Figure 4A). One piglet from another recipient sow died of a respiratory infection after weaning at age of 4 weeks. All the other surviving clone pigs had normal growth and were healthy until they were euthanized. GFP was detected in tissue samples collected from all the apoE-shRNA1 transgenic cloned pigs but not in Title Loaded From File tissues of control cloned pigs (Figure 4B). This indicated the stable integration of the apoEshRNA1 vector and transgene expression in the tissues of the transgenic pigs. PCR analysis of genomic DNA extracted from liver samples confirmed the presence of the apoE-shRNA1 vector in the genome of pigs cloned from apoE-shRNA1 fibroblasts cells but not in the genome of pigs cloned from non-transfected control fibroblasts (Figure 4C).(Figures 5A and 6A). However, densitometric analysis of the protein bands after immunoblotting revealed lower levels of apoE in both liver (Figure 5B) and plasma (Figure 6B) of cloned transgenic pigs as compared to control pigs. Immunoblot analyses of liver samples using an anti-GFP antibody confirmed that GFP was highly expressed in transgenic pigs (Figure 5A).DiscussionThere is great promise in the use of genetically-modified swine to improve our understanding of biology and diseases. Indeed, because swine are anatomically and physiologically Title Loaded From File similar to humans, the alteration of specific swine genes can provide ideal animal models to study the causes and potential therapeutics of genetic disorders affecting humans [2]. The swine genome is now sequenced and will facilitate the design and creation of geneticallyaltered swine models [25]. However, in order to enable the adoption of swine models in biomedical applications, the methods of gene manipulation as well as in the technologies used to produce gene-altered pigs require further refinements to improve efficiency, precision and simplicity. Therefore, the primary goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of using RNAi to modify gene expression in tissues and plasma of cloned pigs. RNAi is a natural gene silencing mechanism triggered by double stranded RNA, which is highly conserved among different species [26]. The fact that stable gene silencing can be achieved by short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) expressed from DNA vectors via polymerase III promoters [27?9] has provided an appealing alternative to the conventional methods for gene targeting in animals [17,18,20,21]. The shRNA consists of a sense and antisense small interfering RNA (siRNA) sequences linked by a non-complementary loop sequence. Upon expression, the loop isDetection of apoE Protein in the Cloned PigsIn order to assess whether the presence of the apoE-shRNA1 vector affected the levels of the apoE protein, liver and plasma samples collected from the transgenic clone pigs and control clone pigs were analyzed. ApoE protein was detected in all liver and plasma samples from both control and tr.Howing GFP expression viewed using phase-contrast optics (left) or the same field under fluorescence illumination (right). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064613.gGene Attenuation in Cloned PigsProduction of Cloned Pigs from shRNA1 Transfected Fibroblast CellsThe transfer of 284 cloned embryos reconstructed from transfected fibroblasts to five recipient gilts resulted in the birth of 8 cloned piglets from 3 gilts (4, 2 and 2 piglets, respectively). One of the piglets (1 of 4) from one of the recipient gilt was stillborn. The remaining 7 piglets were healthy and had normal morphology at birth and weaning (Figure 4A). One piglet from another recipient sow died of a respiratory infection after weaning at age of 4 weeks. All the other surviving clone pigs had normal growth and were healthy until they were euthanized. GFP was detected in tissue samples collected from all the apoE-shRNA1 transgenic cloned pigs but not in tissues of control cloned pigs (Figure 4B). This indicated the stable integration of the apoEshRNA1 vector and transgene expression in the tissues of the transgenic pigs. PCR analysis of genomic DNA extracted from liver samples confirmed the presence of the apoE-shRNA1 vector in the genome of pigs cloned from apoE-shRNA1 fibroblasts cells but not in the genome of pigs cloned from non-transfected control fibroblasts (Figure 4C).(Figures 5A and 6A). However, densitometric analysis of the protein bands after immunoblotting revealed lower levels of apoE in both liver (Figure 5B) and plasma (Figure 6B) of cloned transgenic pigs as compared to control pigs. Immunoblot analyses of liver samples using an anti-GFP antibody confirmed that GFP was highly expressed in transgenic pigs (Figure 5A).DiscussionThere is great promise in the use of genetically-modified swine to improve our understanding of biology and diseases. Indeed, because swine are anatomically and physiologically similar to humans, the alteration of specific swine genes can provide ideal animal models to study the causes and potential therapeutics of genetic disorders affecting humans [2]. The swine genome is now sequenced and will facilitate the design and creation of geneticallyaltered swine models [25]. However, in order to enable the adoption of swine models in biomedical applications, the methods of gene manipulation as well as in the technologies used to produce gene-altered pigs require further refinements to improve efficiency, precision and simplicity. Therefore, the primary goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of using RNAi to modify gene expression in tissues and plasma of cloned pigs. RNAi is a natural gene silencing mechanism triggered by double stranded RNA, which is highly conserved among different species [26]. The fact that stable gene silencing can be achieved by short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) expressed from DNA vectors via polymerase III promoters [27?9] has provided an appealing alternative to the conventional methods for gene targeting in animals [17,18,20,21]. The shRNA consists of a sense and antisense small interfering RNA (siRNA) sequences linked by a non-complementary loop sequence. Upon expression, the loop isDetection of apoE Protein in the Cloned PigsIn order to assess whether the presence of the apoE-shRNA1 vector affected the levels of the apoE protein, liver and plasma samples collected from the transgenic clone pigs and control clone pigs were analyzed. ApoE protein was detected in all liver and plasma samples from both control and tr.

Howing GFP expression viewed using phase-contrast optics (left) or the same

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