A simple quantitative PCR assay to determine TRAMP transgene zygosity

Ruidong Chen, Xin Liang, Mollianne M Murray, Ellen Karasik, Jenny J Han, Ming Zhu, Barbara A Foster, Daniel E Frigo, Guocan Wang
Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 2020 September 7

BACKGROUND: The TRansgenic Adenocarcinoma of the Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) model remains one of the most widely used transgenic mouse models of prostate cancer. This is due to its ability to recapitulate with ~100% penetrance multiple aspects of the human disease such as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia lesions, invasive carcinoma, progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer including aggressive neuroendocrine prostate cancer and metastasis. Despite its popularity, the use of TRAMP mice is limited/slowed by the inability to distinguish the zygosity of the TRAMP transgene. This is especially true for breeding strategies implementing multiple crosses and alleles and when the rapid generation of large animal cohorts with the desired genotype is needed.

METHODS: We developed a quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach to determine the relative TRAMP transgene copy number of mice.

RESULTS: This method was validated by three independent laboratories across two institutions, which successfully identified the genotype of the mice 98.2% of the time (165/168) in the first attempt. The genotypes of the uncertain mice were correctly identified in the repeated experiments.

CONCLUSIONS: We develop the first straightforward, qPCR approach to reliably determine the TRAMP transgene zygosity. The development of this qPCR-based genotyping method enables researchers to streamline breeding strategies when creating complex genetic mouse models involving TRAMP mice; thus, ultimately reducing the required animal numbers, cost, and investigator time.

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