Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction with SYBR green i detection for estimating copy numbers of porcine endogenous retrovirus from Chinese miniature pigs.

Laboratory for Viral Safety of National Centre of Biomedical Analysis, Institute of Transfusion Medicine, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
Transplantation Proceedings (Impact Factor: 0.95). 06/2010; 42(5):1949-52. DOI:10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.01.054
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) in the pig genome represents a potential infectious risk in xenotransplantation. Chinese miniature pigs have been considered to be potential organ donors in China. However, an adequate level of information on PERV from Chinese miniature pigs has not been available. We established an SYBR Green I-based real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for estimating copy numbers of PERV integrated in the host genome. The assay was 100-fold more sensitive compared with conventional PCR. We also evaluated the specificity and reproducibility of the assay. We statistically analyzed the difference in PERV copy numbers integrated into the genomes of Wuzhishan pigs versus Bama minipigs. This approach will be useful to screen donor pigs as well as to examine clinical samples from human subjects treated with porcine xenotransplantation products for evidence of PERV transmission.

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    ABSTRACT: The clinical application of porcine-derived xenotransplants is limited by the potential risk of infection due to the presence of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) in tissues, organs, and cells. The establishment of pig fibroblasts with low PERV expression and without PERV-C can provide a nuclear donor to generate a safer transgenic pig. In this study, we obtained Chinese Experimental Miniature Pig fibroblasts (CEMPF) with low expression of PERV and none of PERV-C. We designed small interfering RNA (siRNA) expressed as short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) based on the highly conserved gag and pol regions of PERV and screened for the most effective siRNA to inhibit PERV expression. The selected shRNA-pol3 fragment was introduced into the CEMPF to obtain an engineered CEMPF stably expressing shRNA-pol3. The PERV mRNA expression level in the engineered CEMPF was only 7.9% of that observed in fibroblasts from wild-type CEMPF, PERV P15E protein expression was significantly reduced. HEK293 cells cocultured with the supernate of the engineered CEMPF showed no PERV infection. Engineered CEMPF, which possess no risk of PERV-A/C infection, can serve as a nuclear donor to generate xenograft donor pigs.
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    ABSTRACT: Xenotransplantation from animals has been considered to be a preferable approach to alleviate the shortage of human allografts. Pigs are the most suitable candidate because of the anatomical and physiological similarities shared with humans as well as ethical concerns. However, it may be associated with the risk of transmission of infectious porcine pathogens. Porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) are of particular concern because they have been shown to infect human cells in vitro. To date, researches on the molecular characteristics and potential pathogenicity of PERV are still tenuous. In this report, an infectious replication competent clone of PERV from Wuzhishan pigs (WZSPs) in China was generated and characterized. This infectious clone will contribute to studies on PERV virology and control of PERV in xenotransplantation using Chinese miniature pigs. The proviral DNA of PERV from WZSPs was amplified in two overlapping halves. Then the two fragments were isolated, subcloned and fused to generate pBluescriptalphaSK+-WZS-PERV recombinant clones. Screened with RT-PCR, a molecular clone of PERV designated as WZS-PERV(2) was selected. Its infectivity and replication competency were characterized in HEK293 cells by PCR, real-time fluorescent quantitative RT-PCR, western blot, indirect immunofluorescence assay as well as sequence analysis. The ability of WZS-PERV(2) to infect human cells and produce infectious virions were shown after transfection of the clone into HEK293 cells and infection of PERV derived from this recombinant clone. The expression of Gag proteins were detected in HEK293 cells infected with the virus derived from the clone by the indirect immunofluorescence assay and western blot. The results of sequences analysis and comparison combined with the PCR based genotyping result demonstrated that the WZS-PERV(2) belonged to PERV-A subgroup. Compared with a previous proviral DNA clone of PERV (PERV-WZSP), G to A hypermutation occurred in the env gene of WZS-PERV(2) was found, whereas APOBEC proteins have the potential to inhibit the replication of a variety of retroviruses through a cDNA cytosine deamination mechanism, so we presumed these G to A hypermutation might be the contribution of porcine APOBEC3F. Altogether, an infectious replication competent clone of PERV from Chinese miniature pigs (WZSPs) termed WZS-PERV(2) was generated, characterized and sequenced.
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