Establishment of a novel, eco-friendly transgenic pig model using porcine pancreatic amylase promoter-driven fungal cellulase transgenes

Y. S. Lin, C. C. Yang, C. C. Hsu, J. T. Hsu, S. C. Wu, C. J. Lin, W. T. K. Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competition between humans and livestock for cereal and legume grains makes it challenging to provide economical feeds to livestock animals. Recent increases in corn and soybean prices have had a significant impact on the cost of feed for pig producers. The utilization of byproducts and alternative ingredients in pig diets has the potential to reduce feed costs. Moreover, unlike ruminants, pigs have limited ability to utilize diets with high fiber content because they lack endogenous enzymes capable of breaking down nonstarch polysaccharides into simple sugars. Here, we investigated the feasibility of a transgenic strategy in which expression of the fungal cellulase transgene was driven by the porcine pancreatic amylase promoter in pigs. A 2,488 bp 5'-flanking region of the porcine pancreatic amylase gene was cloned by the genomic walking technique, and its structural features were characterized. Using GFP as a reporter, we found that this region contained promoter activity and had the potential to control heterologous gene expression. Transgenic pigs were generated by pronuclear microinjection. Founders and offspring were identified by PCR and Southern blot analyses. Cellulase mRNA and protein showed tissue-specific expression in the pancreas of F1 generation pigs. Cellulolytic enzyme activity was also identified in the pancreas of transgenic pigs. These results demonstrated the establishment of a tissue-specific promoter of the porcine pancreatic amylase gene. Transgenic pigs expressing exogenous cellulase may represent a way to increase the intake of low-cost, fiber-rich feeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Transgenic pig
  • Pancreas
  • Amylase promoter
  • Cellulase
  • DIET
  • MICE


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