Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a major public health problem worldwide. This study was performed to explore the feasibility of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gag gene via oocyte. The recombinant plasmid (pIRES2-EGFP-gag) was injected into mouse ovaries to transfect germ cells. Induction of superovulation and then animal mating were performed to collect oocytes and two-cell embryos. Positive FISH signals for HIV-1 gag DNA were detected in the nuclei of oocytes and embryos, and in chromosomes of mature oocytes, indicated integration of the gene into the oocyte genome and gene replication in the embryo. HIV-1 gag cDNA positive bands detected by RT-PCR in oocytes and embryos indicated successful gene transcription, while positive immunofluorescence signals for HIV-1 gag protein indicated successful translation in both oocytes and embryos. The HIV-1 gag gene was transmitted vertically to the next generation via oocytes and it retained its function in replication, transcription and translation following at least one mitotic division in embryos.
Keywords: HIV-1 gag gene, Oocyte, Transmission, Integration, Replication, Expression
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