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Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 5;8(1):10203. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28438-2.

Efficient production of human interferon beta in the white of eggs from ovalbumin gene-targeted hens.

Author information

1
Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-8-31, Midorioka, Ikeda, Osaka, 563-8577, Japan. oishi-i@aist.go.jp.
2
Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-8-31, Midorioka, Ikeda, Osaka, 563-8577, Japan.
3
Animal Breeding and Reproduction Research Division, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, 2 Ikenodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0901, Japan.

Abstract

Transgenic chickens could potentially serve as bioreactors for commercial production of recombinant proteins in egg white. Many transgenic chickens have been generated by randomly integrating viral vectors into their genomes, but transgene expression has proved insufficient and/or limited to the initial cohort. Herein, we demonstrate the feasibility of integrating human interferon beta (hIFN-β) into the chicken ovalbumin locus and producing hIFN-β in egg white. We knocked in hIFN-β into primordial germ cells using a CRISPR/Cas9 protocol and then generated germline chimeric roosters by cell transplantation into recipient embryos. Two generation-zero founder roosters produced hIFN-β knock-in offspring, and all knock-in female offspring produced abundant egg-white hIFN-β (~3.5 mg/ml). Although female offspring of the first generation were sterile, their male counterparts were fertile and produced a second generation of knock-in hens, for which egg-white hIFN-β production was comparable with that of the first generation. The hIFN-β bioactivity represented only ~5% of total egg-white hIFN-β, but unfolding and refolding of hIFN-β in the egg white fully recovered the bioactivity. These results suggest that transgene insertion at the chicken ovalbumin locus can result in abundant and stable expression of an exogenous protein deposited into egg white and should be amenable to industrial applications.

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