Transgenic research

Tβ4-overexpression based on the piggyBac transposon system in cashmere goats alters hair fiber characteristics.

PMID 27900536


Increasing cashmere yield is one of the vital aims of cashmere goats breeding. Compared to traditional breeding methods, transgenic technology is more efficient and the piggyBac (PB) transposon system has been widely applied to generate transgenic animals. For the present study, donor fibroblasts were stably transfected via a PB donor vector containing the coding sequence of cashmere goat thymosin beta-4 (Tβ4) and driven by a hair follicle-specific promoter, the keratin-associated protein 6.1 (KAP6.1) promoter. To obtain genetically modified cells as nuclear donors, we co-transfected donor vectors into fetal fibroblasts of cashmere goats. Five transgenic cashmere goats were generated following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Via determination of the copy numbers and integration sites, the Tβ4 gene was successfully inserted into the goat genome. Histological examination of skin tissue revealed that Tβ4-overexpressing, transgenic goats had a higher secondary to primary hair follicle (S/P) ratio compared to wild type goats. This indicates that Tβ4-overexpressing goats possess increased numbers of secondary hair follicles (SHF). Our results indicate that Tβ4-overexpression in cashmere goats could be a feasible strategy to increase cashmere yield.