Low Levels of X-Inactive Specific Transcript in Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Embryos Derived from Female Bovine Freemartin Donor Cells Academic Article uri icon

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  • The present study compared developmental potential, telomerase activity and transcript levels of X-linked genes <i>(HPRT, MECP2, RPS4X, SLC25A6, XIAP, XIST</i> and <i>ZFX)</i> in bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos reconstructed with cells derived from a freemartin (female with a male co-twin) or from normal female cattle (control). The rates of cleavage, development to blastocyst and hatched blastocyst stage, and the mean numbers of total and inner cell mass cells in the freemartin SCNT embryos were not significantly different from those of control SCNT embryos (p > 0.05). The levels of telomerase activity analyzed by RQ-TRAP in the freemartin SCNT embryos were also similar to those of the normal SCNT embryos. Transcript levels of <i>HPRT, MECP2, RPS4X</i> and <i>XIAP</i>, measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, were not significantly different between the control and freemartin SCNT embryos (p > 0.05). However, the transcript levels of <i>SLC25A6, XIST</i> and<i> ZFX</i> were significantly decreased in the freemartin SCNT embryos compared to control SCNT embryos (p < 0.05). Transfer of 71 freemartin SCNT embryos to 22 recipient cows resulted in 4 (18%) pregnancies, which were lost between days 28 and 90 of gestation. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that the transcript levels of several X-linked genes, especially <i>XIST</i>, showed an aberrant pattern in the freemartin SCNT embryos, suggesting aberrant X inactivation in freemartin clones which may affect embryo survival.


  • Jeon, B-G
  • Rho, G-J
  • Betts, DH
  • Petrik, James
  • Favetta, LA
  • King, WA

publication date

  • 2012

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