Transgenic research

Generation of CMAHKO/GTKO/shTNFRI-Fc/HO-1 quadruple gene modified pigs.

PMID 28553699


As an alternative source of organs for transplantation into humans, attention has been directed to pigs due to their similarities in biological features and organ size. However, severe immune rejection has prevented successful xenotransplantation using pig organs and tissues. To overcome immune rejection, recently developed genetic engineering systems such as TALEN coupled with somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to make embryos could be used to produce pigs compatible with xenotransplantation. We used the TALEN system to target the non-Gal antigen cytidine monophosphate-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase (CMAH) gene in pigs that is naturally deleted in humans. Gal-deleted cells expressing both soluble human tumor necrosis factor receptor I IgG1-Fc (shTNFRI-Fc) and human hemagglutinin -tagged-human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1) were transfected with a TALEN target for CMAH. Cells lacking CMAH were negatively selected using N-glyconeuraminic acid (Neu5Gc)/magnetic beads and the level of Neu5Gc expression of isolated cells were analyzed by FACS and DNA sequencing. Cloned embryos using 3 different genetically modified cell clones were respectively transferred into 3 recipients, with 55.6% (5/9) becoming pregnant and three cloned pigs were produced. Successful genetic disruption of the CMAH gene was confirmed by sequencing, showing lack of expression of CMAH in tail-derived fibroblasts of the cloned piglets. Besides decreased expression of Neu5Gc in piglets produced by SCNT, antibody-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity assays and natural antibody binding for examining immuno-reactivity of the quadruple gene modified pigs derived from endothelial cells and fibroblasts were reduced significantly compared to those of wild type animals. We conclude that by combining the TALEN system and transgenic cells, targeting of multiple genes could be useful for generating organs for xenotransplantation. We produced miniature pigs with quadruple modified genes CMAHKO/GTKO/shTNFRI-Fc/hHO-1 that will be suitable for xenotransplantation by overcoming hyperacute, acute and anti-inflammatory rejection.