Open Access Short Report

Heat-induced and spontaneous expression of Hsp70.1Luciferase transgene copies localized on Xp22 in female bovine cells

Jean-Marc Lelièvre12*, Daniel Le Bourhis123, Amandine Breton12, Hélène Hayes4, Jean-Luc Servely12 and Xavier Vignon12

Author Affiliations

1 INRA, UMR 1198 Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, F-78350 Jouy en Josas, France

2 ENVA, UMR 1198 Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, F-78350 Jouy en Josas, France

3 UNCEIA, Département R&D, 13, rue Jouet, F-94704 Maison-Alfort, France

4 INRA, UMR 1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, F-78350 Jouy en Josas, France

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:17  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-17

Published: 22 January 2010



Expression of several copies of the heat-inducible Hsp70.1Luciferase (LUC) transgene inserted at a single X chromosome locus of a bull (Bos taurus) was assessed in females after X-chromosome inactivation (XCI). Furthermore, impact of the chromosomal environment on the spontaneous expression of these transgene copies before XCI was studied during early development in embryos obtained after in vitro fertilization (IVF), when the locus was carried by the X chromosome inherited from the bull, and after somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning, when the locus could be carried by the inactive Xi or the active Xa chromosome in a female donor cell, or by the (active) X in a male donor cell.


Transgene copies were mapped to bovine Xp22. In XXLUC female fibroblasts, i.e. after random XCI, the proportions of late-replicating inactive and early-replicating active XLUC chromosomes were not biased and the proportion of cells displaying an increase in the level of immunostained luciferase protein after heat-shock induction was similar to that in male fibroblasts. Spontaneous transgene expression occurred at the 8-16-cell stage both in transgenic (female) embryos obtained after IVF and in male and female embryos obtained after SCNT.


The XLUC chromosome is normally inactivated but at least part of the inactivated X-linked Hsp70.1Luciferase transgene copies remains heat-inducible after random XCI in somatic cells. Before XCI, the profile of the transgenes' spontaneous expression is independent of the epigenetic origin of the XLUC chromosome since it is similar in IVF female, SCNT male and SCNT female embryos.