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Xenotransplantation. 2002 May;9(3):183-90.

Production and characterization of a pig line transgenic for human membrane cofactor protein.

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  • 1Imutran Ltd (A Novartis Pharma AG Co.), Cambridge, UK.


A pig line transgenic for human membrane cofactor protein (hMCP) has been established. Offspring from the founder were produced by crossing the founder with pigs heterozygous for the human decay accelerating factor (hDAF) transgene. As a result, pigs transgenic for both hMCP and hDAF have been produced. Ribonuclease protection assay (RPA) indicated that hMCP was expressed in all the tissues analysed. In addition, immunohistochemical results indicated a high level of expression of hMCP on neural tissues and islets where hDAF was absent or weakly expressed. C3 fragment deposition and cytotoxicity assays indicated that hMCP expression alone on pig endothelial cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) provided protection against human complement mediated damage. However, we did not find that porcine endothelial cells expressing both hDAF and hMCP were better protected than those expressing hDAF alone. The expression of hMCP on tissues where hDAF is not expressed could provide these tissues with protection against human complement mediated lysis.

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