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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Oct;70(19):3723-37. doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1362-9. Epub 2013 May 16.

Protecting a transgene expression from the HAC-based vector by different chromatin insulators.

Author information

1
Laboratories of Molecular Pharmacology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

Abstract

Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) are vectors that offer advantages of capacity and stability for gene delivery and expression. Several studies have even demonstrated their use for gene complementation in gene-deficient recipient cell lines and animal transgenesis. Recently, we constructed an advance HAC-based vector, alphoid(tetO)-HAC, with a conditional centromere. In this HAC, a gene-loading site was inserted into a centrochromatin domain critical for kinetochore assembly and maintenance. While by definition this domain is permissive for transcription, there have been no long-term studies on transgene expression within centrochromatin. In this study, we compared the effects of three chromatin insulators, cHS4, gamma-satellite DNA, and tDNA, on the expression of an EGFP transgene inserted into the alphoid(tetO)-HAC vector. Insulator function was essential for stable expression of the transgene in centrochromatin. In two analyzed host cell lines, a tDNA insulator composed of two functional copies of tRNA genes showed the highest barrier activity. We infer that proximity to centrochromatin does not protect genes lacking chromatin insulators from epigenetic silencing. Barrier elements that prevent gene silencing in centrochromatin would thus help to optimize transgenesis using HAC vectors.

PMID:
23677492
PMCID:
PMC3771377
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-013-1362-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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