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J Biotechnol. 2006 Apr 10;122(3):362-71. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Recombinant human erythropoietin produced in milk of transgenic pigs.

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  • 1Animal Biotechnology Division, National Livestock Research Institute, Suwon 441-706, Republic of Korea.


We have developed a line of transgenic swine harboring recombinant human erythropoietin through microinjection into fertilized one cell pig zygotes. Milk from generations F1 and F2 transgenic females was analyzed, and hEPO was detected in milk from all lactating females at concentrations of approximately 877.9+/-92.8 IU/1 ml. The amino acid sequence of rhEPO protein in the transgenic pig milk matched that of commercial rhEPO produced from cultured animal cells. In addition, an F-36 cell line, which proliferates in the presence of hEPO or commercial EPO, was induced to synthesize erythroid by extracts from tg sow milk. This study provides evidence that production of purified rhEPO from transgenic pig milk is a potentially valuable technology, and can be used as a cost-effective alternative in clinical applications as well as providing other clinical advantages.

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