A novel transchromosomic system: stable maintenance of an engineered Mb-sized human genomic fragment translocated to a mouse chromosome terminal region

Transgenic Res. 2014 Jun;23(3):441-53. doi: 10.1007/s11248-014-9781-4. Epub 2014 Feb 2.


Transchromosomic (Tc) technology using human chromosome fragments (hCFs), or human artificial chromosomes (HACs), has been used for generating mice containing Mb-sized segments of the human genome. The most significant problem with freely segregating chromosomes with human centromeres has been mosaicism, possibly due to the instability of hCFs or HACs in mice. We report a system for the stable maintenance of Mb-sized human chromosomal fragments following translocation to mouse chromosome 10 (mChr.10). The approach utilizes microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and a combination of site-specific loxP insertion, telomere-directed chromosome truncation, and precise reciprocal translocation for the generation of Tc mice. Human chromosome 21 (hChr.21) was modified with a loxP site and truncated in homologous recombination-proficient chicken DT40 cells. Following transfer to mouse embryonic stem cells harboring a loxP site at the distal region of mChr.10, a ~4 Mb segment of hChr.21 was translocated to the distal region of mChr.10 by transient expression of Cre recombinase. The residual hChr.21/mChr.10ter fragment was reduced by antibiotic negative selection. Tc mice harboring the translocated ~4 Mb fragment were generated by chimera formation and germ line transmission. The hChr.21-derived Mb fragment was maintained stably in tissues in vivo and expression profiles of genes on hChr.21 were consistent with those seen in humans. Thus, Tc technology that enables translocation of human chromosomal regions onto host mouse chromosomes will be useful for studying in vivo functions of the human genome, and generating humanized model mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chimera / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Human / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21 / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics*


  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases