Variegation and silencing in a lentiviral-based murine transgenic model

Transgenic Res. 2010 Jun;19(3):399-414. doi: 10.1007/s11248-009-9318-4. Epub 2009 Aug 23.


Lentiviral based constructs represent a recent development in the generation of transgenic animals. The ease of use, and the fact that the same backbone vectors can be used to down-modulate endogenous gene expression and to produce transgenic animals overexpressing a gene of interest, have fuelled growing interest in this technology. In this study, we have used a lentiviral delivery system to generate transgenic mice expressing altered levels (up or downregulated) of a gene of interest. Although this lentiviral-based approach led to high levels of transgenesis and germ line transmission, a wide variation in transgene expression was observed in most first and second generation mouse lines. In particular, despite the segregation of integrants into single-copy expressing mouse lines, transgene expression appeared to be the target of epigenetic regulatory mechanism, often causing the coexistence of high and low transgene expressing cells within a given tissue such as blood peripheral lymphocytes. The establishment and analysis of large number of mouse lines may therefore be required to select a stable transgenic line with pancellular expression of a gene of interest using this lentiviral-based approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Lentivirus
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • DNA Primers