What does the Transgenic Core do?
The Transgenic Core routinely prepares genetically modified mice and rats for University of Michigan investigators (transgenic mice, transgenic rats, knockout mice, and knockout rats). These animals can be used to study gene function, gene expression, gene regulation, to develop animal models of human disease, to test gene therapy reagents, to establish cell lines from specific cell types transformed in vivo,to produce mice with tissue-specific inducible gene expression or tissue-specific gene deletions, or to study the effects of cell specific ablation with toxigenes.
We provide access to our micromanipoulation and embryos stem cell workstations along with necessary reagents:
- specialized plasmids
- embryonic stem (ES) cell lines
- feeder cells certified for ES cell culture.
The Transgenic Core provides assisted reporductive technology for mice and rats including:
- in vitro fertilization to exand animal colonies or to prepare 2-cell eggs for cryoperservation
- cryropresrvation of 8-cell eggs
- sperm cryopreservation
- recovery of live animals from cryopreserved materials
- intracytoplasmid sperm insertion (ICSI)
The Transgenic Core derives specific pathogen free mice or rats from pathogen infected animals.
Hands-on training is proved to individuals in all aspects of transgenic technology.
Refer to the list of services.
How do I submit a transgene?
Visit the submission page for instructions.
How much does it cost?
University of Michigan investigators review the fee schedule.
Members of the following University of Michigan centers receive discounts:
- Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Rheumatic Diseases Research Core Center
- Michigan Diabetes Research Center
- Michigan Gastrointestinal Peptide Research Center
- Michigan George M. O’Brien Renal Core Center
To submit a request for services please Login or Sign Up at our:
When will my service request be processed?
The Transgenic Core prioritizes all requests for service on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. This standard is applied to everyone equally, even our faculty directors. Typically ES cell work is scheduled one to three months ahead. Since the inception of the Transgenic Core our policy has been that no project, whether it be gene targeting in ES cells or a transgenic mouse model, will enter the work queue until all of the required materials are provided. This includes both scientific materials, such as DNA samples and genotyping tests, and paperwork, such as approval to use animals in research, material transfer agreements and billing information.
How effective is the Transgenic Core?
Both transgenic and gene targeting efficiencies are excellent. We guarantee that at least three transgenic founders will be produced (the average number is 10). Since 1989 over 7000 transgenic founders were produced from over 700 transgene constructs as of September 2003. These efficiency of transgenic production equals or exceeds values in the published transgenic mouse literature. The efficiency of all steps in gene targeting compare favorably with literature values. Multiple embryonic stem (ES) cell lines have been imported and screened for germline chimera formation. In addition, we have developed our own 129X1/SvJ ES cell line “Pat5”. See the list of ES cell lines. We have collaborated with investigators to generate 70 new strains of mice (as of September 2003) from ES cells with mutations introduced by recombination with targeting vectors.
What about consultation?
We provide advice on all aspects of this technology from experimental design to mouse breeding. We can provide protocols and training for every step in the process of generating transgenic or gene targeted mice. We are ready to interact, our doors are open, please contact us with any questions.
What kind of paperwork is involved?
Any project that uses mice must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). Contact the Animal Care & Use Office for information on how to apply for permission to use vertebrate animals in research, testing, or teaching. The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) provides animal housing and veterinary care to all animals on campus. Investigators approved for animal research are expected to provide ULAM with a shortcode that can be used to pay for veterinary care and husbandry/housing costs. Transgenic Core submission forms require the following information:
- IACUC protocol approval number
- ULAM shortcode number for animal housing and veterinary care
What is a transgenic mouse/rat?
What is involved in making transgenic mice/rats?
The Core is available for consultation on all phases of transgenic research. The investigator designs and clones the transgene and develops a genotyping assay with single gene copy sensitivity, usually PCR based. A genotyping assay that detects an endogenous single copy gene in the mouse or an endogenous gene in the rat is a necessary positive control. The assays for the transgene and the endogenous gene are used to test all potential transgenic founder mice or rats. The combination of assays eliminates both false negatives and false positive mis-identifications. Transgene DNA is purified by the Transgenic Core for microinjection from a restriction digest supplied by the investigator. The Core microinjects DNA into fertilized (C57BL/6 X SJL)F2 eggs and transfers the eggs into pseudopregnant mice. Alternatively, we will make transgenic mice in other genetic backgrounds, upon request. We have successfully made transgenic mice in C57BL/6 X SJL)F2, FVB/N, C57BL/6, (C57BL/6 X DBA/2)F2, SWR, B10D2 congenic strains, and mutant strains such as mnd2, Myo15sh2, and C57BL/10ScSn-Dmdmdx/J. When the pups are 2 weeks old, the Core applies ear tags and obtains tail biopsies from the mice. The Core will provide the tail biopsies to the investigator. Investigators may prepare genomic DNA from tail biopsies by hand or by any of the numerous kits on the market (see Protocols). The investigator will identify the transgenic mice by PCR. The transgenic mice are transferred to the investigator for breeding and analysis of transgene expression.
What can I do to maximize a successful transgenic outcome?
We guarantee that you will receive 3 or more transgenic mice or rats, however we can not guarantee transgene expression or transmission. The best strategy is to use a promoter that is already well characterize in transgenic mice or to employ very large flanking regions greater than 10 Kb. Alternatively, a bacterial artificial chromosome can be used to direct gene expression. BACs are include over 100Kb of genomic DNA sequence and often direct gene expression in a fashion which close matches the expression of endogenous genes.
The yield of transgenics is optimized by injecting highly purified linear DNA fragments with overhanging ends. Remove as much vector sequence as possible from the construct since prokaryotic sequences inhibit transgene expression. Although not a guarantee, demonstrated expression in a cell line is a positive indicator of in vivo expression and provides a rapid, inexpensive method to demonstrate that the transgene has been constructed properly. Contact Thom Saunders for more information on transgene design.
How many transgenic mice/rats will I get?
What if my DNA construct is lethal?
What is the significant of transgene copy number?
What if my transgene is too big?
Gene Targeted Mouse
What is a gene targeted mouse?
What is involved making gene targeted mice?
What can I do to maximize a successful gene targeting outcome?
- Characterize the genomic structure of your thoroughly.
- Develop a sensitive screen for homologous recombination in the ES cells.
- Consider the biological consequence of the mutation you introduce.
We can guarantee that we will inject your embryonic stem (ES) cells into a minimum of 50 blastocysts for ES cell-mouse chimera formation. Because of the intrinsic variability in individual ES cell clones, we can not guarantee that chimeras will be produced or that they will transmit your targeted gene through the germline. Therefore, we recommend that you provide at least three clones for microinjection. In collaboration with other labs on campus, we have successfully targeted over 60 genetic loci. We are confident in that we can work with you to genetically engineer new strains of mice that carry novel mutations of value to your research. The Core provides plasmids for gene targeting, ES cell lines that have been tested for germline chimera formation, feeder cells for ES cell culture, FBS tested for ES cell culture, and training in the exacting techniques required for successful ES cell culture. Contact Thom Saunders for more information on gene targeting projects.
Transgenic and gene “knockout” animals that have been developed using NIH IRP (intramural research program) funds and resources will be provided to other laboratories following publication of descriptions of the animals in the peer reviewed literature. It is an obligation of NIH intramural scientists to make such animals widely available for research purposes. This can be achieved by making arrangements to send breeding pairs to a central repository such as the Induced Mutant Resource at the Jackson Laboratory. This would assure the availability of clean, genetically characterized animals within a year’s time. An attempt should be made to reduce duplication of effort by setting up collaborative experiments whenever possible; however, this should not be used as a mechanism to inhibit the distribution of animals.
These guidelines for the IRP are now in agreement with those of the US Public Health Service (PHS) for the extramural community: “It is the policy of PHS to make available to the public the results and accomplishments of the activities that it funds…Therefore, when these resources are developed with PHS funds and the associated research findings have been published or after they have been provided to the agencies under contract, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. This policy applies to grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.”
These guidelines supplement those already covered by the NIH Guide for other types of biological materials and resources. The NIH Guide is available online.
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