The Journal of reproduction and development

Production of transgenic cloned pigs expressing the far-red fluorescent protein monomeric Plum.

PMID 25739316


Monomeric Plum (Plum), a far-red fluorescent protein with photostability and photopermeability, is potentially suitable for in vivo imaging and detection of fluorescence in body tissues. The aim of this study was to generate transgenic cloned pigs exhibiting systemic expression of Plum using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology. Nuclear donor cells for SCNT were obtained by introducing a Plum-expression vector driven by a combination of the cytomegalovirus early enhancer and chicken beta-actin promoter into porcine fetal fibroblasts (PFFs). The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates of reconstructed SCNT embryos were 81.0% (34/42) and 78.6% (33/42), respectively. At 36-37 days of gestation, three fetuses systemically expressing Plum were obtained from one recipient to which 103 SCNT embryos were transferred (3/103, 2.9%). For generation of offspring expressing Plum, rejuvenated PFFs were established from one cloned fetus and used as nuclear donor cells. Four cloned offspring and one stillborn cloned offspring were produced from one recipient to which 117 SCNT embryos were transferred (5/117, 4.3%). All offspring exhibited high levels of Plum fluorescence in blood cells, such as lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes. In addition, the skin, heart, kidney, pancreas, liver and spleen also exhibited Plum expression. These observations demonstrated that transfer of the Plum gene did not interfere with the development of porcine SCNT embryos and resulted in the successful generation of transgenic cloned pigs that systemically expressed Plum. This is the first report of the generation and characterization of transgenic cloned pigs expressing the far-red fluorescent protein Plum.