Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology


G. A. Kim A , H. J. Oh A , M. J. Kim A , Y. K. Jo A , E. M. N. Setyawan A , Y. B. Choi A , S. H. Lee A and B. C. Lee A
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Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 27(1) 109-109
Published: 4 December 2014


Telomerase is important ribonucleoprotein for restoring telomere length from its own RNA template. Regarding cloned animals derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), interesting questions have been raised about whether the cloning process restores cellular telomerase activity undergone by their donor cells. The present study was conducted to determine the effects of cloning on telomerase activity in the dog and normality of telomerase activity in cloned dogs. Focusing our attention on differences in telomerase activity depending on the age, we analysed telomerase activity in dogs produced by natural breeding of various ages. Comparison of the telomerase activities of cloned dogs and those of dogs produced by natural breeding was also performed. For SCNT, 2 cell donors, 7- and 9-year-old beagles, were used and donor cells were isolated from ear skin. After establishing donor cell lines, the enucleated canine in vivo-matured oocytes and the cells were injected and fused by electrofusion. After 30 days from embryo transfer, pregnancy diagnosis was performed and 7 cloned dogs were produced on the due date. For standardization of telomerase activity in beagles produced by natural breeding, blood of total 14 dogs at each age (10 months, 20 months, 5, 7, and 8 years old) were collected and telomerase activity was measured by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. Telomerase activity measurements of at least 6 replications in each dog were performed. For statistical analysis, one-way ANOVA with Dunn's Multiple Comparison Test was used. Significant differences in telomerase activity were observed between the blood of cloned and donor dogs. It was shown that mean telomerase activities were decreased according to biological aging with significances. Mean telomerase activities in 10 cloned dogs were higher than those of a donor dog. Cloned dogs also showed similar levels of telomerase activities as their age-matched natural bred dogs, suggesting that they are within the variation in normal dogs. These observations indicate that the cloning process restores the telomerase activity in the dog. Thus, complex regulation of telomerase activity during nuclear reprogramming may regulate and be involved in telomerase activity in cloned dogs. It remains to be determined whether telomere length is correlated with telomerase activity and if it accurately reflects the physiological age of cloned dogs.

This study was supported by IPET (#311062–04–2-SB010), RDA (PJ008975022013), Research Institute for Veterinary Science, the BK21 program, Nestle Purina Korea, and TS Corporation.

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