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Transgenic Animals

6 April, 2016 - 17:26

Although several recombinant proteins used in medicine are successfully produced in bacteria, some proteins need a eukaryotic animal host for proper processing. For this reason, genes have been cloned and expressed in animals such as sheep, goats, chickens, and mice. Animals that have been modified to express recombinant DNA are called transgenic animals (Figure 10.9).

Figure 10.9
It can be seen that two of these mice are transgenic because they have a gene that causes them to fluoresce under a UV light. The non-transgenic mouse does not have the gene that causes fluorescence. 

Several human proteins are expressed in the milk of transgenic sheep and goats. In one commercial example, the FDA has approved a blood anticoagulant protein that is produced in the milk of transgenic goats for use in humans. Mice have been used extensively for expressing and studying the effects of recombinant genes and mutations.