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Generation and characterization of transgenic mice expressing cobra venom factor

: Andrä, J.; Halter, R.; Kock, M.A.; Niemann, H.; Vogel, C.-W.; Paul, D.


Molecular Immunology 39 (2002), No.5-6, pp.357-365
ISSN: 0161-5890
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
cobra venom factor; complement inhibition; complement

Cobra venom factor (CVF), the anticomplementary protein in cobra venom, activates the alternative complement pathway, eventually leading to complement consumption. Here, we describe the development of a transgenic mouse model for CVF. We generated a DNA construct containing the full-length cDNA for single-chain pre-pro-CVF. Expression of CVF was controlled by the alpha(1)-antitrypsin promoter to achieve liver-specific expression. Linearized DNA was microinjected into murine ovary cells (strain CD(2)F(1)(BALB/cxDBA/2J)) and the newborn mice were analyzed for stable integration of CVF DNA. After establishing the transgene, mice were propagated in a BALB/c background. The CVF mRNA was detected in the liver and, in some animals, in the kidney. CVF protein was detected in small amounts in the serum. Serum complement hemolytic activity in CVF-transgenic mice was virtually absent. The concentration of plasma C3 was significantly reduced. The CVF-transgenic animals show no unusual phenotype. They provide an animal model to study the effect of long-term complement depletion by continued activation, as well as the role of complement in host immune response and pathogenesis of disease.