[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The major physiological function of milk is the transport of amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and minerals to mammalian offspring. Caseins, the major milk proteins, are secreted in the form of a micelle consisting of protein and calcium-phosphate.We have analysed the role of the milk protein α-casein by inactivating the corresponding gene in mice. Absence of α-casein protein significantly curtails secretion of other milk proteins and calcium-phosphate, suggesting a role for α-casein in the establishment of casein micelles. In contrast, secretion of albumin, which is not synthesized in the mammary epithelium, into milk is not reduced. The absence of α-casein also significantly inhibits transcription of the other casein genes. α-Casein deficiency severely delays pup growth during lactation and results in a life-long body size reduction compared to control animals, but has only transient effects on physical and behavioural development of the pups. The data support a critical role for α-casein in casein micelle assembly. The results also confirm lactation as a critical window of metabolic programming and suggest milk protein concentration as a decisive factor in determining adult body weight.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e21775. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinase mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) is a process in which site-specific recombinases exchange one gene cassette flanked by a pair of incompatible target sites for another cassette flanked by an identical pair of sites. Typically one cassette is present in the host genome, whereas the other gene cassette is introduced into the host cell by chemical or biological means. We show here that the frequency of cassette exchange is dependent on the relative and absolute quantities of the transgene cassette and the recombinase. We were able to successfully modify genomic targets not only by electroporation or chemically mediated gene transfer but also by using an adenovirus vector carrying both the transgene cassette to be inserted and the recombinase coding region. RMCE proceeds efficiently in cells in which the adenovirus vector is able to replicate. In contrast, insufficient quantities of the transgene cassette are produced in cells in which the virus cannot replicate. Additional transfection of the transgene cassette significantly enhances the RMCE frequency. This demonstrates that an RMCE system in the context of a viral vector allows the site directed insertion of a transgene into a defined genomic site.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2010; 38(11):e123. · 8.81 Impact Factor