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J Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;168(4):676-83.

Large-scale production of functional human lysozyme in transgenic cloned goats.


Human lysozyme (hLZ), an essential protein against many types of microorganisms, has been expressed in transgenic livestock to improve their health status and milk quality. However, the large-scale production of hLZ in transgenic livestock is currently unavailable. Here we describe the generation of transgenic goats, by somatic cell-mediated transgenic cloning, that express large amounts of recombinant human lysozyme (rhLZ) in milk. Specifically, two optimized lysozyme expression cassettes (β-casein/hLZ and β-lactoglobulin/hLZ) were designed and introduced into goat somatic cells by cell transfection. Using transgenic cell colonies, which were screened by 0.8 mg/mL G418, as a nuclear donor, we obtained 10 transgenic cloned goats containing one copy of hLZ hybrid gene. An ELISA assay indicated that the transgenic goats secreted up to 6.2 g/L of rhLZ in their milk during the natural lactation period, which is approximately 5-10 times higher than human milk. The average rhLZ expression levels in β-casein/hLZ and β-lactoglobulin/hLZ transgenic goats were 2.3 g/L and 3.6 g/L, respectively. Therefore, both rhLZ expression cassettes could induce high levels of expression of the rhLZ in goat mammary glands. In addition, the rhLZ purified from goat milk has similar physicochemical properties as the natural human lysozyme, including the molecular mass, N-terminal sequence, lytic activity, and thermal and pH stability. An antibacterial analysis revealed that rhLZ and hLZ were equally effective in two bacterial inhibition experiments using Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Taken together, our experiments not only underlined that the large-scale production of biologically active rhLZ in animal mammary gland is realistic, but also demonstrated that rhLZ purified from goat milk will be potentially useful in biopharmaceuticals.

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