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Nat Protoc. 2011 Aug 4;6(9):1274-89. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2011.362.

Derivation of genetically modified human pluripotent stem cells with integrated transgenes at unique mapped genomic sites.

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Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.


Many applications in human pluripotent stem cell (PSC) research require the genetic modification of PSCs to express a transgene in a stable and dependable manner. Random transgene integration commonly results in unpredictable and heterogeneous expression. We describe a protocol for the derivation of clonal populations of human embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) expressing a transgene from a single copy of an integrated lentiviral vector that is mapped to the genome. Using optimized transduction conditions, followed by single-cell subcloning and a round of antibiotic selection, we find that approximately half of the colonies retrieved contain a single vector copy. After expansion, the majority of these are confirmed to be clonal. The vector/genomic DNA junction is sequenced and the unique integration site is mapped to the genome. This protocol enables the efficient derivation of genetically modified PSCs containing an integrated transgene at a known genomic site in ∼7 weeks.

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