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Leuchs, Simon; Saalfrank, Anja; Merkl, Claudia; Flisikowska, Tatiana; Edlinger, Marlene; Durkovic, Marina; Rezaei, Nousin; Kurome, Mayuko; Zakhartchenko, Valeri; Kessler, Barbara; Flisikowski, Krzysztof; Kind, Alexander; Wolf, Eckhard and Schnieke, Angelika (2012): Inactivation and inducible oncogenic mutation of p53 in gene targeted pigs.
In: PLOS ONE 7(10), e43323 [PDF, 592kB]


Mutation of the tumor suppressor p53 plays a major role in human carcinogenesis. Here we describe gene-targeted porcine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and live pigs carrying a latent TP53(R167H) mutant allele, orthologous to oncogenic human mutant TP53(R175H) and mouse Trp53(R172H), that can be activated by Cre recombination. MSCs carrying the latent TP53(R167H) mutant allele were analyzed in vitro. Homozygous cells were p53 deficient, and on continued culture exhibited more rapid proliferation, anchorage independent growth, and resistance to the apoptosis-inducing chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin, all characteristic of cellular transformation. Cre mediated recombination activated the latent TP53(R167H) allele as predicted, and in homozygous cells expressed mutant p53-R167H protein at a level ten-fold greater than wild-type MSCs, consistent with the elevated levels found in human cancer cells. Gene targeted MSCs were used for nuclear transfer and fifteen viable piglets were produced carrying the latent TP53(R167H) mutant allele in heterozygous form. These animals will allow study of p53 deficiency and expression of mutant p53-R167H to model human germline, or spontaneous somatic p53 mutation. This work represents the first inactivation and mutation of the gatekeeper tumor suppressor gene TP53 in a non-rodent mammal.

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