Immortalization of common marmoset monkey fibroblasts by piggyBac transposition of hTERT

PLoS One. 2018 Sep 27;13(9):e0204580. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204580. eCollection 2018.

Abstract

Following a certain type-specific number of mitotic divisions, terminally differentiated cells undergo proliferative senescence, thwarting efforts to expand different cell populations in vitro for the needs of scientific research or medical therapies. The primary cause of this phenomenon is the progressive shortening of the telomeres and the subsequent activation of cell cycle control pathways leading to a block of cell proliferation. Restoration of telomere length by transgenic expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) usually results in bypassing of the replicative senescence and ultimately in cell immortalization. To date, there have not been any reports regarding immortalization of cells from common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), an important non-human primate model for various human diseases, with the use of exogenous human TERT (hTERT). In this study, marmoset fibroblasts were successfully immortalized with transposon-integrated transgenic hTERT and expanded in vitro for over 500 population doublings. Calculation of population doubling levels (PDL) showed that the derived hTERT-transgenic lines had significantly higher proliferation potential than the wild-type fibroblasts, which reached only a maximum of 46 doublings. However, the immortalized cells exhibited differences in the morphology compared with the control fibroblasts and transcriptome analysis also revealed changes in the gene expression patterns. Finally, the karyotypes of all hTERT-transgenic cell lines showed various aberrations such as presence of extra Chromosome 17, isochromosome 21q, or tetraploidy. By single-cell expansion of the least affected monoclonal immortalized line, one sub-clonal line with normal karyotype was established, suggesting the possibility to derive immortal marmoset cells with normal karyotypes. The results of this study are an important step towards the development and optimization of methods for the production of immortalized cells from common marmoset monkeys.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Callithrix*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Telomerase / genetics*
  • Telomere Homeostasis / genetics

Substances

  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • TERT protein, human
  • Telomerase

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.