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Article
Nature 300, 611 - 615 (16 December 1982); doi:10.1038/300611a0

Dramatic growth of mice that develop from eggs microinjected with metallothionein–growth hormone fusion genes

Richard D. Palmiter*, Ralph L. Brinster, Robert E. Hammer, Myrna E. Trumbauer, Michael G. Rosenfeld, Neal C. Birnberg§ & Ronald M. Evans§

*Department of Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA
§Tumor Virology Laboratory, The Salk Institute, San Diego, California 92138, USA

A DNA fragment containing the promoter of the mouse metallothionein-I gene fused to the structural gene of rat growth hormone was microinjected into the pronuclei of fertilized mouse eggs. Of 21 mice that developed from these eggs, seven carried the fusion gene and six of these grew significantly larger than their littermates. Several of these transgenic mice had extraordinarily high levels of the fusion mRNA in their liver and growth hormone in their serum. This approach has implications for studying the biological effects of growth hormone, as a way to accelerate animal growth, as a model for gigantism, as a means of correcting genetic disease, and as a method of farming valuable gene products.

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