To identify cis-acting regulatory elements involved in the regulation of expression of the casein genes, the bovine beta-, alpha s2- and kappa-casein genes were isolated from cosmid libraries and introduced into the murine germline. Bovine casein expression was analysed at the RNA and protein level. The bovine beta-casein gene, including 16 kb of 5′- and 8 kb of 3′-flanking region, appeared to be expressed in all 12 transgenic mouse lines analysed. In 50% of these lines expression levels in milk exceeded 1 mg/ml. Three lines displayed expression levels comparable with or well above (20 mg/ml) the beta-casein levels in bovine milk. Transgene expression was restricted to the mammary gland. Strong induction of expression occurred at parturition and thus resembled the bovine rather than the murine pattern. In spite of this high-level tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression, beta-casein expression levels were integration-site-dependent, suggesting that not all elements involved in regulation of expression were included in this beta-casein clone. Neither the bovine alpha s2- nor the kappa-casein gene, including 8 kb and 5 kb of 5′- and 1.5 kb and 19 kb of 3′-flanking sequences respectively, were properly expressed in transgenic mice. However, they were transcribed in stably transfected mouse mammary epithelial cells. This indicates that regulatory elements required for high-level, mammary gland-specific expression are not present in the alpha s2- and kappa-casein clones used in this study and are probably located elsewhere in the casein gene locus.
Expression analysis of the individual bovine β-,αs2- and κ-casein genes in transgenic mice
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M Rijnkels, P M Kooiman, P J A Krimpenfort, H A de Boer, F R Pieper; Expression analysis of the individual bovine β-,αs2- and κ-casein genes in transgenic mice. Biochem J 1 November 1995; 311 (3): 929–937. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj3110929
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