Efficient multicistronic expression of a transgene in human embryonic stem cells

Stem Cells. 2007 Jul;25(7):1707-12. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2006-0813. Epub 2007 Mar 29.


The applicability of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) will be greatly enhanced by techniques that permit efficient genetic modification with multiple transgenes. We report here on single-promoter-driven foot-and-mouth disease virus segment 2A-mediated multicistronic expression of a transgene in hESCs. Efficient multicistronic expression of the transgene was permitted by 2A-mediated separation with almost the same amounts of encoded proteins in hESC. In addition, the multicistronic protein expression was successful in hESC-derived differentiated cells in in vivo and in vitro differentiation assays. This technology may be a significant advance in the genetic engineering of hESCs and hESC-derived cells for purposes that require the reliable expression of multiple transgenes. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus / genetics
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Transgenes / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Viral Proteins
  • virus protein 2A