A non-mosaic humanized mouse model of Down syndrome, trisomy of a nearly complete long arm of human chromosome 21 in mouse chromosome background

Yasuhiro Kazuki, Feng J. Gao, Yicong Li, Anna J. Moyer, Benjamin Devenney, Kei Hiramatsu, Sachiko Miyagawa-Tomita, Satoshi Abe, Kanako Kazuki, Naoyo Kajitani, Narumi Uno, Shoko Takehara, Masato Takiguchi, Miho Yamakawa, Atsushi Hasegawa, Ritsuko Shimizu, Satoko Matsukura, Naohiro Noda, Narumi Ogonuki, Kimiko InoueShogo Matoba, Atsuo Ogura, Liliana D. Florea, Alena Savonenko, Meifang Xiao, Dan Wu, Denise A.S. Batista, Junhua Yang, Zhaozhu Qiu, Nandini Singh, Joan T. Richstemeier, Takashi Takeuchi, Mitsuo Oshimura, Roger H. Reeves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Down syndrome (DS) is a complex human condition, and animal models trisomic for human chromosome 21 (HSA21) genes or orthologs provide insights into better understanding and treating DS. However, HSA21 orthologs are distributed into three mouse chromosomes, preventing us from generating mouse models trisomy of a complete set of HSA21 orthologs. The only existing humanized mouse DS model, Tc1, carries a HSA21 with over 20% of protein coding genes (PCGs) disrupted. More importantly, due to the human centromere, Tc1 is mosaic (a mix of euploid and trisomic cells), which makes every mouse unique and compromises interpretation of results. Here, we used mouse artificial chromosome (MAC) technology to “clone” the 34 MB long arm of HSA21 (HSA21q). Through multiple steps of microcell-mediated chromosome transfer we created a new humanized DS mouse model, Tc(HSA21q;MAC)1Yakaz (“TcMAC21”). Constitutive EGFP expression from the transchromosome and fluorescent in situ hybridization validate that TcMAC21, containing a hybrid chromosome of HSA21q and mouse centromere, is not mosaic. Whole genome sequencing shows that TcMAC21 contains a nearly complete copy of HSA21q with 93% of intact PCGs, while RNA-seq and additional mRNA/protein expression analyses confirm that PCGs are transcribed and regulated. A battery of tests show that TcMAC21 recapitulates many DS phenotypes including morphological anomalies in heart, craniofacial skeleton and brain, pathologies at molecular and cellular level, and impairments in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity. TcMAC21 is the most complete mouse model of DS extant and has potential for supporting a wide range of basic and preclinical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019


  • Aneuploidy
  • Down syndrome
  • HSA21
  • Hybrid transchromosome
  • Mouse artificial chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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