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Theriogenology. 2007 Sep 1;68 Suppl 1:S214-31. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer: Past, present and future perspectives.

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  • 1Animal Development and Biotechnology Group, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK.


It is now over a decade since the birth, in 1996, of Dolly the first animal to be produced by nuclear transfer using an adult derived somatic cell as nuclear donor. Since this time similar techniques have been successfully applied to a range of species producing live offspring and allowing the development of transgenic technologies for agricultural, biotechnological and medical uses. However, though applicable to a range of species, overall, the efficiencies of development of healthy offspring remain low. The low frequency of successful development has been attributed to incomplete or inappropriate reprogramming of the transferred nuclear genome. Many studies have demonstrated that such reprogramming occurs by epigenetic mechanisms not involving alterations in DNA sequence, however, at present the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming are poorly defined. Since the birth of Dolly many studies have attempted to improve the frequency of development, this review will discuss the process of animal production by nuclear transfer and in particular changes in the methodology which have increased development and survival, simplified or increased robustness of the technique. Although much of the discussion is applicable across species, for simplicity we will concentrate primarily on published data for cattle, sheep, pigs and mice.

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