Cloned transgenic cattle produce milk with higher levels of beta-casein and kappa-casein

Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Feb;21(2):157-62. doi: 10.1038/nbt783. Epub 2003 Jan 27.


To enhance milk composition and milk processing efficiency by increasing the casein concentration in milk, we have introduced additional copies of the genes encoding bovine beta- and kappa-casein (CSN2 and CSN3, respectively) into female bovine fibroblasts. Nuclear transfer with four independent donor cell lines resulted in the production of 11 transgenic calves. The analysis of hormonally induced milk showed substantial expression and secretion of the transgene-derived caseins into milk. Nine cows, representing two high-expressing lines, produced milk with an 8-20% increase in beta-casein, a twofold increase in kappa-casein levels, and a markedly altered kappa-casein to total casein ratio. These results show that it is feasible to substantially alter a major component of milk in high producing dairy cows by a transgenic approach and thus to improve the functional properties of dairy milk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / metabolism*
  • Caseins / analysis*
  • Caseins / biosynthesis
  • Cattle / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Organism / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Enhancement / methods*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques
  • Protein Engineering / methods


  • Caseins