Abstract Title:

Transgenic chickens expressing human urokinase-type plasminogen activator.

Abstract Source:

Abstract Author(s):

Sung Ho Lee, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Young Tae Ho, Teoan Kim, Hoon Taek Lee

Article Affiliation:

Department of Animal Biotechnology, Bio-Organ Research Center, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul, 143 701, South Korea.


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator is a serine protease that is clinically used in humans for the treatment of thrombolytic disorders and vascular diseases such as acute ischemic stroke and acute peripheral arterial occlusion. This study explored the feasibility of using chickens as a bioreactor for producing human urokinase-type plasminogen activator (huPA). Recombinant huPA gene, under the control of a ubiquitous Rous sarcoma virus promoter, was injected into the subgerminal cavity of freshly laid chicken eggs at stage X using the replication-defective Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV)-based retrovirus vectors encapsidated with VSV-G (vesicular stomatitis virus G) glycoprotein. A total of 38 chicks, out of 573 virus-injected eggs, hatched and contained the huPA gene in their various body parts. The mRNA transcript of the huPA gene was present in various organs, including blood and egg, and was germ-line transmitted to the next generation. The level of active huPA protein was 16-fold higher in the blood of the transgenic chicken than in the nontransgenic chicken (P<0.05). The expression of huPA protein in eggs increased from 7.82 IU/egg in the G0 generation to 17.02 IU/egg in the G1 generation. However, huPA-expressing embryos had reduced survival and hatchability at d 18 and 21 of incubation, respectively, and the blood clotting time was significantly higher in transgenic chickens than their nontransgenic counterparts (P<0.05). Furthermore, adult transgenic rooster showed reduced (P<0.05) fertility, as revealed by reduced volume of semen ejaculate, sperm concentration, and sperm viability. Taken together, our data suggest that huPA transgenic chickens could be successfully produced by the retroviral vector system. Transgenic chickens, expressing the huPA under the control of a ubiquitous promoter, may not only be used as a bioreactor for pharming of the huPA drug but also be useful for studying huPA-induced bleeding and other disorders.

Study Type : Transgenic Animal Study

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