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Cell Reprogram. 2012 Aug;14(4):353-63. doi: 10.1089/cell.2011.0083. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

α1,3-galactosyltransferase deficiency in germ-free miniature pigs increases N-glycolylneuraminic acids as the xenoantigenic determinant in pig-human xenotransplantation.

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Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


In this study, we examined whether Hanganutziu-Deicher (H-D) antigens are important as an immunogenic non-α1,3-galactose (Gal) epitope in pigs with a disrupted α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene. The targeting efficiency of the AO blood genotype was achieved (2.2%) in pig fibroblast cells. A total of 1800 somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos were transferred to 10 recipients. One recipient developed to term and naturally delivered two piglets. The α1,3-galactosyltransferase activity in lung, liver, spleen, and testis of heterozygote α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene knockout (GalT-KO) pigs was significantly decreased, whereas brain and heart showed very low decreasing levels of α1,3-galactosyltransferase activity when compared to those of control. Enzyme-linked lectinosorbent assay showed that the heterozygote GalT-KO pig had more sialylα2,6- and sialylα2,3-linked glycan than the control. Furthermore, the heart, liver, and kidney of the heterozygote GalT-KO pig had a higher N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) content than the control, whereas the lung of the heterozygote GalT-KO pig had Neu5Gc content similar to the control. Collectively, the data strongly indicated that Neu5Gc is a more critical xenoantigen to overcoming the next acute immune rejection in pig to human xenotransplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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