Humpherys D, Eggan K, Akutsu H, Friedman A, Hochedlinger K, Yanagimachi R, Lander ES, Golub TR, Jaenisch R. 2002. Abnormal gene expression in cloned mice derived from embryonic stem cell and cumulus cell nuclei. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 99(20):12889-94. Pubmed: 12235366


To assess the extent of abnormal gene expression in clones, we assessed global gene expression by microarray analysis on RNA from the placentas and livers of neonatal cloned mice derived by nuclear transfer (NT) from both cultured embryonic stem cells and freshly isolated cumulus cells. Direct comparison of gene expression profiles of more than 10,000 genes showed that for both donor cell types approximately 4% of the expressed genes in the NT placentas differed dramatically in expression levels from those in controls and that the majority of abnormally expressed genes were common to both types of clones. Importantly, however, the expression of a smaller set of genes differed between the embryonic stem cell- and cumulus cell-derived clones. The livers of the cloned mice also showed abnormal gene expression, although to a lesser extent, and with a different set of affected genes, than seen in the placentas. Our results demonstrate frequent abnormal gene expression in clones, in which most expression abnormalities appear common to the NT procedure whereas others appear to reflect the particular donor nucleus.

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Kevin Eggan investigates the mechanisms that cause motor neuron degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and seeks to translate new discoveries into new therapeutic options for patients.

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