Journal article

The molecular basis for Gal alpha(1,3)Gal expression in animals with a deletion of the alpha 1,3galactosyltransferase gene

J Milland, D Christiansen, BD Lazarus, SG Taylor, PX Xing, MS Sandrin

JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY | AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS | Published : 2006

Abstract

The production of homozygous pigs with a disruption in the GGTA1 gene, which encodes alpha1,3galactosyltransferase (alpha1,3GT), represented a critical step toward the clinical reality of xenotransplantation. Unexpectedly, the predicted complete elimination of the immunogenic Galalpha(1,3)Gal carbohydrate epitope was not observed as Galalpha(1,3)Gal staining was still present in tissues from GGTA1(-/-) animals. This shows that, contrary to previous dogma, alpha1,3GT is not the only enzyme able to synthesize Galalpha(1,3)Gal. As iGb3 synthase (iGb3S) is a candidate glycosyltransferase, we cloned iGb3S cDNA from GGTA1(-/-) mouse thymus and confirmed mRNA expression in both mouse and pig tissue..

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University of Melbourne Researchers