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PLoS One. 2015 Feb 23;10(2):e0118626. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118626. eCollection 2015.

Expression of recombinant human lysozyme in egg whites of transgenic hens.

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State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, P. R. China.


Chicken egg lysozyme (cLY) is an enzyme with 129 amino acid (AA) residue enzyme. This enzyme is present not only in chicken egg white but also in mucosal secretions such as saliva and tears. The antibacterial properties of egg white can be attributed to the presence of lysozyme, which is used as an anti-cancer drug and for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. In this study, we constructed a lentiviral vector containing a synthetic cLY signal peptide and a 447 bp synthetic human lysozyme (hLY) cDNA sequence driven by an oviduct-specific ovalbumin promoter, and microinjected into the subgerminal cavity of stage X chick embryos to generate transgenic chicken. The transgene inserted in the chicken chromosomes directs the synthesis and secretion of hLY which has three times higher specific activity than cLY. Three G1 transgenic chickens were identified, the only female of which expressed recombinant human lysozyme (rhLY) at 57.66 ± 4.10 μg/ml in the egg white and the G2 transgenic hens of the G1 transgenic cock A011 expressed rhLY at 48.72 ± 1.54 μg/ml. This experiment demonstrated that transgenic hens with stable oviduct-specific expression of recombinant human lysozyme proteins can be created by microinjection of lentiviral vectors. The results of this research could be contribute to the technological development using transgenic hens as a cost-effective alternative to other mammalian systems, such as cow, sheep and goats, for the production of therapeutic proteins and other applications.

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