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Exp Anim. 2014;63(1):21-30.

Selection of rodent species appropriate for mtDNA transfer to generate transmitochondrial mito-mice expressing mitochondrial respiration defects.

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  • 1Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.


Previous reports have shown that transmitochondrial mito-mice with nuclear DNA from Mus musculus and mtDNA from M. spretus do not express respiration defects, whereas those with mtDNA from Rattus norvegicus cannot be generated from ES cybrids with mtDNA from R. norvegicus due to inducing significant respiration defects and resultant losing multipotency. Here, we isolated transmitochondrial cybrids with mtDNA from various rodent species classified between M. spretus and R. norvegicus, and compared the O2 consumption rates. The results showed a strong negative correlation between phylogenetic distance and reduction of O2 consumption rates, which would be due to the coevolution of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and the resultant incompatibility between the nuclear genome from M. musculus and the mitochondrial genome from the other rodent species. These observations suggested that M. caroli was an appropriate mtDNA donor to generate transmitochondrial mito-mice with nuclear DNA from M. musculus. Then, we generated ES cybrids with M. caroli mtDNA, and found that these ES cybrids expressed respiration defects without losing multipotency and can be used to generate transmitochondrial mito-mice expressing mitochondrial disorders.

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