Knockout of one acetylcholinesterase allele in the mouse

Weihua Xie, Phillip J. Wilder, Judith Stribley, Arnaud Chatonnet, Angie Rizzino, Palmer Taylor, Steven H. Hinrichs, Oksana Lockridge

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31 Scopus citations


One allele of the AChE gene (ACHE) was knocked out in embryonic stem (ES) cells by homologous recombination. The targeting vector contained 2 kb of a TK gene cassette for negative selection, 884 bp of ACHE including exon 1, 1.6 kb of a Neo(r) gene cassette for positive selection, 5.2 kb of the ACHE Bam HI fragment including exon 6, and 3 kb of Bluescript. The use of this vector deleted exons 2-5, which removed 93% of the ACHE coding sequence including the signal peptide, the active site serine, and the histidine and glutamic acid of the catalytic triad. The gene targeting vector was transfected into ES cells by electroporation. Colonies resistant to G418 and gancyclovir were screened for homologous recombination by Southern blotting. Out of 200 colonies, four were found to have undergone homologous recombination. These four ACHE (±) ES cell lines were expanded to provide cells for microinjection into C57Bl/6 mouse blastocysts. The injected blastocysts were implanted into pseudopregnant CD/1 white mice. More than 200 injected blastocysts were transferred into 20 mice. More than 65 mice were born, of which 11 were chimeras. Chimeras were identified by their black and agouti coat color. Littermates were all black. Thus far, seven male chimeras have been bred with more than 130 C57Bl/6 females to generate 26 agouti mice out of 199 living offspring. This demonstrated that the ACHE (±) ES cells contributed to the germline. Offspring with agouti coat color have a 50% chance of carrying the knockout allele. The 26 agouti offspring were screened for an ACHE (±) genotype by tail biopsy PCR. Ten out of 26 agouti mice are heterozygous ACHE knockout mice, and they are healthy and alive at 29 days of age. We expect a phenotype to appear in nullizygous animals. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
StatePublished - May 14 1999


  • AChE gene (ACHE)
  • Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)
  • Knockout mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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