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Comparative proteomic analysis of malformed umbilical cords from somatic cell nuclear transfer-derived piglets: implications for early postnatal death

Jong-Yi Park13, Jae-Hwan Kim2, Yun-Jung Choi1, Kyu-Chan Hwang1, Seong-Keun Cho3, Ho-Hyun Park4, Seung-Sam Paik4, Teoan Kim5, ChanKyu Park1, Hoon Taek Lee1, Han Geuk Seo6, Soo-Bong Park7, Seongsoo Hwang7 and Jin-Hoi Kim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Animal Resource Research Center, College of Animal Bioscience and Technology, KonKuk University, Seoul 143-701, South Korea

2 Department of Biomedical Science, College of Life Science, CHA University, Pochon-si, Gyeonggi-do 487-010, South Korea

3 CHO-A Biotechnology Research Institute, CHO-A Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Seoul 150-992, South Korea

4 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea

5 Department of Physiology, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu 705-718, South Korea

6 Department of Pharmacology, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, GyeongNam 660-701, South Korea

7 Animal Biotechnology Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-706, South Korea

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BMC Genomics 2009, 10:511  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-511

Published: 5 November 2009



Somatic cell nuclear transfer (scNT)-derived piglets have high rates of mortality, including stillbirth and postnatal death. Here, we examined severe malformed umbilical cords (MUC), as well as other organs, from nine scNT-derived term piglets.


Microscopic analysis revealed complete occlusive thrombi and the absence of columnar epithelial layers in MUC (scNT-MUC) derived from scNT piglets. scNT-MUC had significantly lower expression levels of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) and angiogenesis-related genes than umbilical cords of normal scNT piglets (scNT-N) that survived into adulthood. Endothelial cells derived from scNT-MUC migrated and formed tubules more slowly than endothelial cells from control umbilical cords or scNT-N. Proteomic analysis of scNT-MUC revealed significant down-regulation of proteins involved in the prevention of oxidative stress and the regulation of glycolysis and cell motility, while molecules involved in apoptosis were significantly up-regulated. Histomorphometric analysis revealed severe calcification in the kidneys and placenta, peliosis in the liver sinusoidal space, abnormal stromal cell proliferation in the lungs, and tubular degeneration in the kidneys in scNT piglets with MUC. Increased levels of apoptosis were also detected in organs derived from all scNT piglets with MUC.


These results suggest that MUC contribute to fetal malformations, preterm birth and low birth weight due to underlying molecular defects that result in hypoplastic umbilical arteries and/or placental insufficiency. The results of the current study demonstrate the effects of MUC on fetal growth and organ development in scNT-derived pigs, and provide important insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying angiogenesis during umbilical cord development.