Analysis of mitotic and expression properties of human neocentromere-based transchromosomes in mice

Lee H. Wong, Richard Saffery, Melissa A. Anderson, Elizabeth Earle, Julie M. Quach, Angela J. Stafford, Kerry J. Fowler, K. H Andy Choo

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Human neocentromeres are functional centromeres that are devoid of the typical human centromeric α-satellite DNA. We have transferred a 60-Mb chromosome 10-derived neocentric marker chromosome, mardel(10), and its truncated 3.5-Mb derivative, NC-MiC1, into mouse embryonic stem cell and have demonstrated a relatively high structural and mitotic stability of the transchromosomes in a heterologous genetic background. We have also produced chimeric mice carrying mardel(10) or NC-MiC1. Both transchromosomes were detected as intact episomal entities in a variety of adult chimeric mouse tissues including hemopoietic stem cells. Genes residing on these transchromosomes were expressed in the different tissues tested. Meiotic transmission of both transchromosomes in the chimeric mice was evident from the detection of DNA from these chromosomes in sperm samples. In particular, germ line transmission of NC-MiC1 was demonstrated in the F1 embryos of the chimeric mice. Variable (low in mardel(10)- or NC-MiC1-containing embryonic stem cells and chimeric mouse tissues and relatively high in NC-MiC1-containing F1 embryos) levels of missegregation of these transchromosomes were detected, suggesting that they are not optimally predisposed to full mitotic regulation in the mouse background, particularly during early embryogenesis. These results provide promising data in support of the potential use of neocentromere-based human marker chromosomes and minichromosomes as a tool for the study of centromere, neocentromere, and chromosome biology and for gene therapy studies in a mouse model system. They also highlight the need to further understand and overcome the factors that are responsible for the definable rates of instability of these transchromosomes in a mouse model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3954-3962
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

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