Multiple effects of genetic background on variegated transgene expression in mice

M L Opsahl, M McClenaghan, A Springbett, S Reid, R Lathe, A Colman, C B A Whitelaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BLG/7 transgenic mice express an ovine beta-lactoglobulin transgene during lactation. Unusually, transgene expression levels in milk differ between siblings. This variable expression is due to variegated transgene expression in the mammary gland and is reminiscent of position-effect variegation. The BLG/7 line was created and maintained oil a mixed CBA X C57BL/6 background. We have investigated the effect on transgene expression of backcrossing for 13 generations into these backgrounds. Variable transgene expression was observed in all populations examined, confirming that it is all inherent property of the transgene array at its site of integration. There were also strain-specific effects oil transgene expression that appear to be independent of the inherent variegation. The transgene, compared to endogenous milk protein genes, is specifically susceptible to inbreeding depression. Outcrossing restored transgene expression levels to that of the parental population; thus suppression was not inherited. Finally, no generation-dependent decrease in mean expression levels was observed in the parental population. Thus, although the BLG/7 transgene is expressed in a variegated manner, there was no generation-associated accumulated silencing of transgene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1112
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


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