Paternal mitochondrial DNA transmission after embryonic cell primate nuclear transfer

Justin St John, G Schatten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    58 Citations (Scopus)


    Offspring produced by nuclear transfer (NT) have identical nuclear DNA (nDNA). However, mitochondrial DNA (mtNA) inheritance could vary considerably. In sheep, homoplasmy is maintained since mtDNA is transmitted from the oocyte (recipient) only. In contrast, cattle are heteroplasmic, harboring a predominance of recipient mtDNA along with varying levels of donor mtDNA. We show that the two nonhuman primate Macaca mulatta offspring born by NT have intDNA from three sources: (1) maternal mtDNA from the recipient egg, (2) maternal mtDNA from the egg contributing to the donor blastomere, and (3) paternal mtDNA from the sperm that fertilized the egg from which the donor blastomere was isolated. The introduction of foreign mtDNA into reconstructed recipient eggs has also been demonstrated in mice through pronuclear injection and in humans through cytoplasmic transfer. The mitochondrial triplasmy following M. mulatta NT reported here forces concerns regarding the parental origins of mtDNA in clinically reconstructed eggs. In addition, mtDNA heteroplasmy might result in the embryonic stein cell lines generated for experimental and therapeutic purposes ("therapeutic cloning").
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)897-905
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


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