Comparative Analysis of piggyBac, CRISPR/Cas9 and TALEN Mediated BAC Transgenesis in the Zygote for the Generation of Humanized SIRPA Rats

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 17;6:31455. doi: 10.1038/srep31455.


BAC transgenic mammalian systems offer an important platform for recapitulating human gene expression and disease modeling. While the larger body mass, and greater genetic and physiologic similarity to humans render rats well suited for reproducing human immune diseases and evaluating therapeutic strategies, difficulties of generating BAC transgenic rats have hindered progress. Thus, an efficient method for BAC transgenesis in rats would be valuable. Immunodeficient mice carrying a human SIRPA transgene have previously been shown to support improved human cell hematopoiesis. Here, we have generated for the first time, human SIRPA BAC transgenic rats, for which the gene is faithfully expressed, functionally active, and germline transmissible. To do this, human SIRPA BAC was modified with elements to work in coordination with genome engineering technologies-piggyBac, CRISPR/Cas9 or TALEN. Our findings show that piggyBac transposition is a more efficient approach than the classical BAC transgenesis, resulting in complete BAC integration with predictable end sequences, thereby permitting precise assessment of the integration site. Neither CRISPR/Cas9 nor TALEN increased BAC transgenesis. Therefore, an efficient generation of human SIRPA transgenic rats using piggyBac opens opportunities for expansion of humanized transgenic rat models in the future to advance biomedical research and therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation* / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Differentiation* / genetics
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Immunologic* / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Immunologic* / genetics
  • Transgenes*
  • Zygote*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • SIRPA protein, human