Iran's First Transgenic Goats Produced in Royan Institute
During a news conference on Saturday, Jan. 30th, Hamid Gourabi, the head of Royan Institute said: Following 3 years of research on transgenic animals, the institute has succeeded in producing of two transgenic goats containing coagulation factor IX in their milk which is an important drug using in treatment of hemophilia patients.
Transgenic animal is defined as one that has undergone a modification in its genome. The main purpose of producing transgenic animals is to produce animals that contain the gene for secretion of some proteins in their milk which can be used in treatment of human diseases.
Transgenic goats, cows, sheeps and pigs are already produced in USA, France, UK, Japan, Denmark, Canada, Scotland, Netherlands and China to extract tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), α-Antitrypsin, coagulation factor IIX, fibrinogen, α-Lactalbumin, human serum albumin, collagen type I/II and monoclonal antibodies from their milk.
Gourabi notified that producing drugs in transgenic livestock milk is an economical and cost benefit method since the expenses are much less than producing the same drugs in laboratory by tissue culture methods.
Scientists who were cooperating in this project explained the procedure:
Hemophilia is an X-linked disorder causing by deficiency of coagulation factor IX, which is commonly produced in liver. In this project we tried to produce this protein by transferring the related gene from human liver cells to the goat embryonic fibroblasts. The embryos were then transferred to the recipient goats. Different tests such as PCR have confirmed that the goats born from these embryos contain the gene in their cells and can secrete the protein in their milk.
Upon the completion of Royan Institute’s project on transgenic animals, Iran is expected to take an effective step for mass production of factor IX and other thrombolytics so as to increase its affordability for patients.
In 2006, Royan Institute produced the Iran and Middle East's first cloned lamb named Royana, and then in 2009, Hanna, the first cloned goat was born. Bonyana and Tamina were also first cloned calves produced in Royan Institute in 2009 and were died due to an infectious disease in a couple of days.
Royan TGF91 and Royan TGF92, the two transgenic goats were also named "Shangoul" and "Mangoul", names of the two leading characters of an Iranian traditional children story. They are now in a good health condition.