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Gene. 1996 Oct 31;178(1-2):161-8.

Two distinct apolipoprotein B alleles in mice generated by a single 'in-out' targeting.

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Department of Pathology and Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7525, USA.


'In-out' gene targeting using a hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) minigene was applied to generate two new alleles in the gene (Apob) coding for apolipoprotein B (apo B) in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells. Homologous integration of the targeting vector during the 'in step' disrupted the Apob gene leading to an allele encoding apo B81, having a 19% carboxyl-terminal truncation. All six targeted cells obtained had more than one insert at the locus, and the chromosomal target sequence in four of them was changed during the recombination. These results suggest that concatenation of the targeting vector prior to insertion was needed to generate sufficient gene product to yield the HPRT+ phenotype, and that recombination between the concatenated DNA and endogenous DNA was a gene replacement more frequently than a simple insertion. The 'out step' recombination event which occurs between sequences duplicated in the 'in step', was planned to replace the sequences encoding the putative LDL receptor-binding domains of apo B100 with sequences encoding human beta-globin peptides (designated apo B100-beta). 6-Thioguanine (6-TG) resistant colonies were obtained from all the 'in-step' cell lines tested at frequencies of 10(-5) to 10(-4), but the frequency of physical loss of the HPRT sequences accompanied by retention of the modified Apob sequence was variable, indicating that mechanisms other than a simple excision are responsible for the generation of 6-TG resistance. Mice from the 'in-step' produce apo B81 and display characteristics of familial hypobetalipoproteinemia; some homozygotes develop hydrocephaly or exencephaly. Mice from the 'out-step' produce apo B100-beta and secrete lipoprotein particles containing the modified protein; their phenotypic changes are subtle, suggesting the lack of the putative LDL receptor-binding domains is not sufficient to increase the steady-state level of apo B100-beta particles above that of apo B100 particles in control mice.

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