AUCKLAND, NZ, January 13, 2003 -- In a session today at the annual meeting of the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS), Randall Prather, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, announced the successful cloning of the first miniature swine with both copies of a specific gene "knocked out" of its DNA. The ultimate goal of this research, which is being conducted in partnership with Immerge BioTherapeutics, Inc (a BioTransplant Incorporated (Nasdaq:BTRN)/Novartis Pharma AG (NYSE:NYS) joint venture company), is to develop a herd of miniature swine that can be used as a safe source for human transplantation, a process known as xenotransplantation.
"The fact that we have been able to clone this particular strain of miniature swine with both copies of the gene that produces GGTA1 knocked out is a very exciting step for the field of xenotransplantation," said Dr. Prather, a researcher in MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "Organs from regular swine are too large for human transplant, and this particular strain of miniature swine has been refined for years solely for its potential use in humans."
New options for organ sources are desperately needed to treat the rapidly increasing number of critically ill people on the transplant waiting list (more than 80,000 in the U.S. alone). Researchers have targeted the pig as the best potential candidate for an alternative organ source because of the similarity between human and pig organs and the relative ease of breeding. However, the massive rejection response mounted by the human immune system has been a major hurdle in this research.
A key player in this rejection process is the gene called a-1,3-galactosyltransferase or GGTA1 that produces a sugar molecule. When a foreign organ is introduced, human antibodies attach to the sugar molecule on the surface of pig cells produced from the action of the GGTA1Page: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Susan Hayes
S. Hayes Consulting
. Presidential Recognition Awards presented at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention2
. White House lauds Physiological Society for mentoring underrepresented minorities in biomedicine3
. AACR awards scholarships to minority and underrepresented scientists4
. Max Planck Research awards 2003 presented5
. The American Geological Institutes Distinguished Service Award to be presented to Edward C. Roy Jr.6
. Infectious disease study findings presented by University of Pittsburgh scientists7
. Artificial organ research findings presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers8
. Latest research in gene therapy presented at 6th Annual ASGT meeting9
. Phase III study results with Raptiva in the treatment of psoriasis presented at Annual AAD meeting10
. Minority and underrepresented scientists in cancer research supported by AACR11
. Phase III, 48-Wk NEAT study results comparing GW433908 to Nelfinavir presented today