Familial hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis in cloned minipigs created by DNA transposition of a human PCSK9 gain-of-function mutant

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Rozh Husain Al-Mashhadi, Charlotte Brandt Sørensen, Peter M. Kragh, Christina Christoffersen, Martin Bødtker Mortensen, Lars Poulsen Tolbod, Troels Thim, Yutao Du, Juan Li, Ying Liu, Brian Moldt, Mette Schmidt, Gabor Vajta, Torben Larsen, Stig Purup, Lars Bolund, Lars Bo Nielsen, Henrik Callesen, Erling Falk, Jacob Giehm Mikkelsen & 1 andre Jacob Fog Bentzon

Lack of animal models with human-like size and pathology hampers translational research in atherosclerosis. Mouse models are missing central features of human atherosclerosis and are too small for intravascular procedures and imaging. Modeling the disease in minipigs may overcome these limitations, but it has proven difficult to induce rapid atherosclerosis in normal pigs by high-fat feeding alone, and genetically modified models similar to those created in mice are not available. D374Y gain-of-function mutations in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) gene cause severe autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia and accelerates atherosclerosis in humans. Using Sleeping Beauty DNA transposition and cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer, we created Yucatan minipigs with liver-specific expression of human D374Y-PCSK9. D374Y-PCSK9 transgenic pigs displayed reduced hepatic low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor levels, impaired LDL clearance, severe hypercholesterolemia, and spontaneous development of progressive atherosclerotic lesions that could be visualized by noninvasive imaging. This model should prove useful for several types of translational research in atherosclerosis.

TidsskriftScience Translational Medicine
Udgave nummer166
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2013

ID: 137357549