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Biochem J. 2002 Jul 1;365(Pt 1):7-11.

Uromodulin promoter directs high-level expression of biologically active human alpha1-antitrypsin into mouse urine.

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  • 1Plasma Derivatives Department, Holland Laboratory, American Red Cross, 15601 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD 20855, USA.


We have recently shown that the regulatory sequence of the uromodulin gene, containing the 3.7 kb promoter, exon 1 and a part of exon 2, provided for kidney-specific expression of the reporter lacZ gene in transgenic mice [Zbikowska, Soukhareva, Behnam, Chang, Drews, Lubon, Hammond and Soukharev (2002) Transgenic Res., in the press]. In the present study, we generated transgenic mice harbouring the regulatory sequence of the uromodulin gene to direct the expression of human alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1AT) into urine. Of the 13 founder mice that tested positive by PCR, seven showed the presence of the human protein in their urine. The concentration of the recombinant human (rh) alpha1AT in the urine, estimated by using ELISA, ranged from 0.5 to 14 microg/ml in the F(0)-generation mice, and reached up to 65 microg/ml in the F1 generation. The transgenically produced rh alpha1AT was found to be N-glycosylated and biologically active. The N-terminal sequence analysis confirmed the identity of the human protein and revealed that the recombinant alpha1AT was correctly processed with the signal peptide cleaved off. Our results demonstrate for the first time that the uromodulin regulatory sequence provides a very attractive option for the potential large-scale production of functional therapeutic proteins in livestock.

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