Highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated transgene knockin at the H11 locus in pigs

Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 18;5:14253. doi: 10.1038/srep14253.


Transgenic pigs play an important role in producing higher quality food in agriculture and improving human health when used as animal models for various human diseases in biomedicine. Production of transgenic pigs, however, is a lengthy and inefficient process that hinders research using pig models. Recent applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for generating site-specific gene knockout/knockin models, including a knockout pig model, have significantly accelerated the animal model field. However, a knockin pig model containing a site-specific transgene insertion that can be passed on to its offspring remains lacking. Here, we describe for the first time the generation of a site-specific knockin pig model using a combination of CRISPR/Cas9 and somatic cell nuclear transfer. We also report a new genomic "safe harbor" locus, named pH11, which enables stable and robust transgene expression. Our results indicate that our CRISPR/Cas9 knockin system allows highly efficient gene insertion at the pH11 locus of up to 54% using drug selection and 6% without drug selection. We successfully inserted a gene fragment larger than 9 kb at the pH11 locus using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Our data also confirm that the gene inserted into the pH11 locus is highly expressed in cells, embryos and animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques*
  • Gene Order
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Swine
  • Transgenes*