To date, the normal transcriptional regulation of the human ̄-globin gene cluster has been recapitulated most accurately in transgenic mice that carry large yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) or ligated cosmid constructs. However, these large transgenes still exhibit variegated expression levels, perhaps because they tend to rearrange upon integration, or because the cloning vectors remain attached to the globin inserts. To try to circumvent these potential problems, we investigated the transgenic properties of a 100- kb DNA fragment containing the entire human ̄-globin cluster propagated in a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). We created 9 independent mouse lines, each carrying 1 to 6 copies of the human β-globin cluster without the attached BAC vector. Five of the lines carry unrearranged copies of the cluster. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of adult F1 mice showed that 2 lines express human β globin at levels approximately equivalent to the endogenous mouse β-major genes. One line expresses no human β globin, while the remaining 6 lines show intermediate expression levels. Complete γ → β-globin gene switching occurs, but is slightly delayed with respect to the endogenous mouse embryonic →adult switch. Since these data are similar to what has been obtained using globin YACs or ligated cosmids, we conclude that (1) globin transgenes propagated in BACs are no less likely to rearrange than their cosmid or YAC counterparts, and (2) the retention of YAC vector sequences in a transgene probably has no significant impact on globin expression when using constructs of this size.
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Nov 1 1999|