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Keywords:

  • transfection;
  • primate;
  • ES cell;
  • neural differentiation;
  • transplantation

Abstract

Efficient genetic modification of primate embryonic stem (ES) cells is essential for the application for both basic and preclinical research. The transfection efficiency of primate ES cells is reportedly lower than that of mouse ES cells. Cynomolgus monkey ES cells provide a powerful model for understanding human development and disease. We evaluated electroporation as a method to introduce foreign genes into cynomolgus monkey ES cells. Our examination has allowed us to establish a protocol producing about 100 stably transfected clones from 107 cynomolgus monkey ES cells. Differences in efficiency, however, were observed for other ES cell lines. We compared the transcriptional activities of the PGK-1, CMV, and SV40 promoters in cynomolgus monkey ES cells generating efficient G418 selection. Although the PGK-1 and SV40 promoters efficiently drove neo gene expression, the CMV promoter was significantly less transcriptionally active in cynomolgus monkey ES cells. Using this electroporation method, we established fluorescent cynomolgus monkey ES cell lines. These cells may be useful tools for tracing grafted cells in transplantation studies using a variety of functional cells derived from cynomolgus monkey ES cells. genesis 37:180–187, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.