Efficiency of transgene expression in bovine cells varies according to cell type and gene transfer method

  • Alinne G Curcio Laboratório de Reprodução e Melhoramento Genético Animal, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Agropecuárias, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro – UENF, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro
  • Fabiana F Bressan
  • Carla S Paes De Carvalho
  • Célia R Quirino
  • Flavio V Meirelles
  • Angelo J B Dias
Keywords: cloning, epigenetics, lipofection, lentiviral transduction, nuclear reprogramming


Background: Production of transgenic animals is still a low-efficiency biotechnology, and simple alternatives should be used to improve the rate of transgenic bovine production by nuclear transfer. One such alternative is selecting the appropriate donor cell type and transfection method. Objective: To investigate the effect of cell type (fetal or adult fibroblasts, and cumulus cells), and gene transfer method (lipofection and lentiviral transduction) on the incorporation, expression, and fluorescence intensity of transgene on bovine cells analyzed by flow cytometry. Methods: Fetal fibroblasts (FF), adult fibroblasts (AF), and cumulus cells (CC) were transfected using lipofection, or transduced using lentiviral particles produced with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressing plasmids, and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: Lentiviral transduction resulted in higher transgene expression rates for all cell types (FF: 88.8 ± 0.98; AF: 91.6 ± 2.96; CC: 60.7% ± 14.7) compared to lipofection (FF: 17.8 ± 2.82; AF: 10.66 ± 0.65; CC: 3.9% ± 1.97). Cumulus cells showed lower transgene expression rates than the other cell types. Regarding fluorescence intensity, there was no significant difference between lipofection and lentiviral transduction; in both treatments, higher fluorescence intensity was obtained when adult cells were used instead of fetal cells. Conclusion: Gene transfer efficiency varies according to cell type, and gene transfer method, with lentiviral transduction achieving higher transgene expression rate, and adult fibroblasts showing better transgene expression.
Original research articles