Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.444, No.4, 638-643, 2014
Production of rhesus monkey cloned embryos expressing monomeric red fluorescent protein by interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer
Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is a promising method to clone endangered animals from which oocytes are difficult to obtain. Monomeric red fluorescent protein 1 (mRFP1) is an excellent selection marker for transgenically modified cloned embryos during somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In this study, mRFP-expressing rhesus monkey cells or porcine cells were transferred into enucleated porcine oocytes to generate iSCNT and SCNT embryos, respectively. The development of these embryos was studied in vitro. The percentage of embryos that underwent cleavage did not significantly differ between iSCNT and SCNT embryos (P > 0.05; 71.53% vs. 80.30%). However, significantly fewer iSCNT embryos than SCNT embryos reached the blastocyst stage (2.04% vs. 10.19%, P < 0.05). Valproic acid was used in an attempt to increase the percentage of iSCNT embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage. However, the percentages of embryos that underwent cleavage and reached the blastocyst stage were similar between untreated iSCNT embryos and iSCNT embryos treated with 2 mM valproic acid for 24 h (72.12% vs. 70.83% and 2.67% vs. 2.35%, respectively). These data suggest that porcine-rhesus monkey interspecies embryos can be generated that efficiently express mRFP1. However, a significantly lower proportion of iSCNT embryos than SCNT embryos reach the blastocyst stage. Valproic acid does not increase the percentage of porcine-rhesus monkey iSCNT embryos that reach the blastocyst stage. The mechanisms underling nuclear reprogramming and epigenetic modifications in iSCNT need to be investigated further. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.