Expression of the murine wild-type tyrosinase gene in transgenic rabbits

Bernhard Aigner, Urban Besenfelder, Janos Seregi, Laszlo V. Frenyo, Tibor Sahin-Toth, Gottfried Brem

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The tyrosinase gene is known to be essential for melanization and has been shown to rescue pigmentation in albino mice. Previously we have described the strict copy-number-dependent expression of a murine wild-type tyrosinase gene construct over several generations in transgenic mice. In this study, we analysed the same gene construct as a marker gene for the transmission and expression of transgenes in rabbits. Using an albino hybrid strain, we produced transgenie rabbits expressing the murine tyrosinase gene. Strict correlation between integration and expression of the transgene and stable germline transmission of the integrated gene construct according to the Mendelian pattern of inheritance was observed. Thus, breeding control was facilitated by simple phenotypic examination of the transgenic animals. In contrast to mice transgenie for the same gene construct, tyrosinase transgenie rabbits showed a greater variety in hue, intensity and extent of coat pigmentation, which is caused by the diversity in the loci affecting the melanization. Benefits and limitations of tyrosinase as a marker gene for the detection of homozygous individuals in the albino hybrid strain used are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996


  • breeding control
  • colour marker
  • gene transfer
  • pigmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics

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    Aigner, B., Besenfelder, U., Seregi, J., Frenyo, L. V., Sahin-Toth, T., & Brem, G. (1996). Expression of the murine wild-type tyrosinase gene in transgenic rabbits. Transgenic Research, 5(6), 405-411.