[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To reveal the full potential of human pluripotent stem cells, new methods for rapid, site-specific genomic engineering are needed. Here, we describe a system for precise genetic modification of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We identified a novel human locus, H11, located in a safe, intergenic, transcriptionally active region of chromosome 22, as the recipient site, to provide robust, ubiquitous expression of inserted genes. Recipient cell lines were established by site-specific placement of a 'landing pad' cassette carrying attP sites for phiC31 and Bxb1 integrases at the H11 locus by spontaneous or TALEN-assisted homologous recombination. Dual integrase cassette exchange (DICE) mediated by phiC31 and Bxb1 integrases was used to insert genes of interest flanked by phiC31 and Bxb1 attB sites at the H11 locus, replacing the landing pad. This system provided complete control over content, direction and copy number of inserted genes, with a specificity of 100%. A series of genes, including mCherry and various combinations of the neural transcription factors LMX1a, FOXA2 and OTX2, were inserted in recipient cell lines derived from H9 ESC, as well as iPSC lines derived from a Parkinson's disease patient and a normal sibling control. The DICE system offers rapid, efficient and precise gene insertion in ESC and iPSC and is particularly well suited for repeated modifications of the same locus.
Nucleic Acids Research 12/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular understanding of placental functions and pregnancy disorders is limited by the absence of methods for placenta-specific gene manipulation. Although persistent placenta-specific gene expression has been achieved by lentivirus-based gene delivery methods, developmentally and physiologically important placental genes have highly stage-specific functions, requiring controllable, transient expression systems for functional analysis. Here, we describe an inducible, placenta-specific gene expression system that enables high-level, transient transgene expression and monitoring of gene expression by live bioluminescence imaging in mouse placenta at different stages of pregnancy. We used the third generation tetracycline-responsive tranactivator protein Tet-On 3G, with 10- to 100-fold increased sensitivity to doxycycline (Dox) compared with previous versions, enabling unusually sensitive on-off control of gene expression in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing Tet-On 3G were created using a new integrase-based, site-specific approach, yielding high-level transgene expression driven by a ubiquitous promoter. Blastocysts from these mice were transduced with the Tet-On 3G-response element promoter-driving firefly luciferase using lentivirus-mediated placenta-specific gene delivery and transferred into wild-type pseudopregnant recipients for placenta-specific, Dox-inducible gene expression. Systemic Dox administration at various time points during pregnancy led to transient, placenta-specific firefly luciferase expression as early as d 5 of pregnancy in a Dox dose-dependent manner. This system enables, for the first time, reliable pregnancy stage-specific induction of gene expression in the placenta and live monitoring of gene expression during pregnancy. It will be widely applicable to studies of both placental development and pregnancy, and the site-specific Tet-On G3 mouse will be valuable for studies in a broad range of tissues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers (MADM) is a method for generating genetically mosaic mice, in which sibling mutant and wild-type cells are labeled with different fluorescent markers. It is a powerful tool that enables analysis of gene function at the single cell level in vivo. It requires transgenic cassettes to be located between the centromere and the mutation in the gene of interest on the same chromosome. Here we compare procedures for introduction of MADM cassettes into new loci in the mouse genome, and describe new approaches for expanding the utility of MADM. We show that: 1) Targeted homologous recombination outperforms random transgenesis in generation of reliably expressed MADM cassettes, 2) MADM cassettes in new genomic loci need to be validated for biallelic and ubiquitous expression, 3) Recombination between MADM cassettes on different chromosomes can be used to study reciprocal chromosomal deletions/duplications, and 4) MADM can be modified to permit transgene expression by combining it with a binary expression system. The advances described in this study expand current, and enable new and more versatile applications of MADM.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33332. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have revolutionized the stem cell field. iPSCs are most often produced by using retroviruses. However, the resulting cells may be ill-suited for clinical applications. Many alternative strategies to make iPSCs have been developed, but the nonintegrating strategies tend to be inefficient, while the integrating strategies involve random integration. Here, we report a facile strategy to create murine iPSCs that uses plasmid DNA and single transfection with sequence-specific recombinases. PhiC31 integrase was used to insert the reprogramming cassette into the genome, producing iPSCs. Cre recombinase was then used for excision of the reprogramming genes. The iPSCs were demonstrated to be pluripotent by in vitro and in vivo criteria, both before and after excision of the reprogramming cassette. This strategy is comparable with retroviral approaches in efficiency, but is nonhazardous for the user, simple to perform, and results in nonrandom integration of a reprogramming cassette that can be readily deleted. We demonstrated the efficiency of this reprogramming and excision strategy in two accessible cell types, fibroblasts and adipose stem cells. This simple strategy produces pluripotent stem cells that have the potential to be used in a clinical setting.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microinjection of recombinant DNA into zygotic pronuclei has been widely used for producing transgenic mice. However, with this method, the insertion site, integrity, and copy number of the transgene cannot be controlled. Here, we present an integrase-based approach to produce transgenic mice via pronuclear injection, whereby an intact single-copy transgene can be inserted into predetermined chromosomal loci with high efficiency (up to 40%), and faithfully transmitted through generations. We show that neighboring transgenic elements and bacterial DNA within the transgene cause profound silencing and expression variability of the transgenic marker. Removal of these undesirable elements leads to global high-level marker expression from transgenes driven by a ubiquitous promoter. We also obtained faithful marker expression from a tissue-specific promoter. The technique presented here will greatly facilitate murine transgenesis and precise structure/function dissection of mammalian gene function and regulation in vivo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2011; 108(19):7902-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptomyces phage phiC31 integrase was found to mediate site-specific integration of foreign genes at pseudo attP sites of genomes in human, mouse, rat, and Drosophila. This paper reports that phiC31 integrase can also mediate homologous recombination between attB and pseudo attP sites in bovine cells and foreign gene integration was increased at least 2-fold in bovine fibroblasts or Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Two intrinsic pseudo attP sites named BpsF1 and BpsM1 located in the inter-gene regions on chromosome 28 and 19, respectively, were identified in bovine genome. These pseudo attP sites shared similar characteristics with those from other species as previously described. Our study demonstrated that the phiC31 integrase system provides a new potential for genetic engineering of the bovine genome and might be beneficial for the research on ruminant.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2006; 345(3):984-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many members of the animal kingdom display coat or skin color differences along their dorsoventral axis. To determine the mechanisms that control regional differences in pigmentation, we have studied how a classical mouse mutation, droopy ear (de(H)), affects dorsoventral skin characteristics, especially those under control of the Agouti gene. Mice carrying the Agouti allele black-and-tan (a(t)) normally have a sharp boundary between dorsal black hair and yellow ventral hair; the de(H) mutation raises the pigmentation boundary, producing an apparent dorsal-to-ventral transformation. We identify a 216 kb deletion in de(H) that removes all but the first exon of the Tbx15 gene, whose embryonic expression in developing mesenchyme correlates with pigmentary and skeletal malformations observed in de(H)/de(H) animals. Construction of a targeted allele of Tbx15 confirmed that the de(H) phenotype was caused by Tbx15 loss of function. Early embryonic expression of Tbx15 in dorsal mesenchyme is complementary to Agouti expression in ventral mesenchyme; in the absence of Tbx15, expression of Agouti in both embryos and postnatal animals is displaced dorsally. Transplantation experiments demonstrate that positional identity of the skin with regard to dorsoventral pigmentation differences is acquired by E12.5, which is shortly after early embryonic expression of Tbx15. Fate-mapping studies show that the dorsoventral pigmentation boundary is not in register with a previously identified dermal cell lineage boundary, but rather with the limb dorsoventral boundary. Embryonic expression of Tbx15 in dorsolateral mesenchyme provides an instructional cue required to establish the future positional identity of dorsal dermis. These findings represent a novel role for T-box gene action in embryonic development, identify a previously unappreciated aspect of dorsoventral patterning that is widely represented in furred mammals, and provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie region-specific differences in body morphology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phage integrases catalyze site-specific, unidirectional recombination between two short att recognition sites. Recombination results in integration when the att sites are present on two different DNA molecules and deletion or inversion when the att sites are on the same molecule. Here we demonstrate the ability of the phiC31 integrase to integrate DNA into endogenous sequences in the mouse genome following microinjection of donor plasmid and integrase mRNA into mouse single-cell embryos. Transgenic early embryos and a mid-gestation mouse are reported. We also demonstrate the ability of the phiC31, R4, and TP901-1 phage integrases to recombine two introduced att sites on the same chromosome in human cells, resulting in deletion of the intervening material. We compare the frequencies of mammalian chromosomal deletion catalyzed by these three integrases in different chromosomal locations. The results reviewed here introduce these bacteriophage integrases as tools for site-specific modification of the genome for the creation and manipulation of transgenic mammals.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 12/2003; 1:79. · 2.14 Impact Factor