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See detailEFSA's scientific activities and achievements on the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during its first decade of existence: looking back and ahead.
Devos, Yann; Aguilera, Jaime; Diveki, Zoltan et al

in Transgenic research (2014), 23(1), 1-25

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and derived food and feed products are subject to a risk analysis and regulatory approval before they can enter the market in the European Union (EU). In this risk ... [more ▼]

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and derived food and feed products are subject to a risk analysis and regulatory approval before they can enter the market in the European Union (EU). In this risk analysis process, the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which was created in 2002 in response to multiple food crises, is to independently assess and provide scientific advice to risk managers on any possible risks that the use of GMOs may pose to human and animal health and the environment. EFSA's scientific advice is elaborated by its GMO Panel with the scientific support of several working groups and EFSA's GMO Unit. This review presents EFSA's scientific activities and highlights its achievements on the risk assessment of GMOs for the first 10 years of its existence. Since 2002, EFSA has issued 69 scientific opinions on genetically modified (GM) plant market registration applications, of which 62 for import and processing for food and feed uses, six for cultivation and one for the use of pollen (as or in food), and 19 scientific opinions on applications for marketing products made with GM microorganisms. Several guidelines for the risk assessment of GM plants, GM microorganisms and GM animals, as well as on specific issues such as post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) were elaborated. EFSA also provided scientific advice upon request of the European Commission on safeguard clause and emergency measures invoked by EU Member States, annual PMEM reports, the potential risks of new biotechnology-based plant breeding techniques, evaluations of previously assessed GMOs in the light of new scientific publications, and the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes in GM plants. Future challenges relevant to the risk assessment of GMOs are discussed. EFSA's risk assessments of GMO applications ensure that data are analysed and presented in a way that facilitates scientifically sound decisions that protect human and animal health and the environment. [less ▲]

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See detailVariegation and silencing in a lentiviral-based murine transgenic model.
Baup, Delphine; Fraga, Laurent; Pernot, Eileen et al

in Transgenic Research (2010), 19

Lentiviral based constructs represent a recent development in the generation of transgenic animals. The ease of use, and the fact that the same backbone vectors can be used to down-modulate endogenous ... [more ▼]

Lentiviral based constructs represent a recent development in the generation of transgenic animals. The ease of use, and the fact that the same backbone vectors can be used to down-modulate endogenous gene expression and to produce transgenic animals overexpressing a gene of interest, have fuelled growing interest in this technology. In this study, we have used a lentiviral delivery system to generate transgenic mice expressing altered levels (up or downregulated) of a gene of interest. Although this lentiviral-based approach led to high levels of transgenesis and germ line transmission, a wide variation in transgene expression was observed in most first and second generation mouse lines. In particular, despite the segregation of integrants into single-copy expressing mouse lines, transgene expression appeared to be the target of epigenetic regulatory mechanism, often causing the coexistence of high and low transgene expressing cells within a given tissue such as blood peripheral lymphocytes. The establishment and analysis of large number of mouse lines may therefore be required to select a stable transgenic line with pancellular expression of a gene of interest using this lentiviral-based approach. [less ▲]

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See detailModulating mouse innate immunity to RNA viruses by expressing the Bos taurus Mx system.
Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULg; Cloquette, Karine ULg; Leroy, Michael et al

in Transgenic Research (2009), 18(5), 719-32

Mx proteins are interferon-induced members of the dynamin superfamily of large guanosine triphosphatases. These proteins have attracted much attention because some display antiviral activity against ... [more ▼]

Mx proteins are interferon-induced members of the dynamin superfamily of large guanosine triphosphatases. These proteins have attracted much attention because some display antiviral activity against pathogenic RNA viruses, such as members of the orthomyxoviridae, bunyaviridae, and rhabdoviridae families. Among the diverse mammalian Mx proteins examined so far, we have recently demonstrated in vitro that the Bos taurus isoform 1 (boMx1) is endowed with exceptional anti-rabies-virus activity. This finding has prompted us to seek an appropriate in vivo model for confirming and evaluating gene therapy strategies. Using a BAC transgene, we have generated transgenic mouse lines expressing the antiviral boMx1 protein and boMx2 proteins under the control of their natural promoter and short- and long-range regulatory elements. Expressed boMx1 and boMx2 are correctly assembled, as deduced from mRNA sequencing and western blotting. Poly-I/C-subordinated expression of boMx1 was detected in various organs by immunohistochemistry, and transgenic lines were readily classified as high- or low-expression lines on the basis of tissue boMx1 concentrations measured by ELISA. Poly-I/C-induced Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells, bovine turbinate cells, and cultured cells from high-expression line of transgenic mice were found to contain about the same concentration of boMx1, suggesting that this protein is produced at near-physiological levels. Furthermore, insertion of the bovine Mx system rendered transgenic mice resistant to vesicular-stomatitis-virus-associated morbidity and mortality, and embryonic fibroblasts derived from high-expression transgenic mice were far less permissive to the virus. These results demonstrate that the Bos taurus Mx system is a powerful anti-VSV agent in vivo and suggest that the transgenic mouse lines generated here constitute a good model for studying in vivo the various antiviral functions-known and yet to be discovered-exerted by bovine Mx proteins, with priority emphasis on the antirabic function of boMx1. [less ▲]

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See detailFusion proteins comprising the catalytic domain of mutansucrase and a starch-binding domain can alter the morphology of amylose-free potato starch granules during biosynthesis
Jacon, Géraldine ULg

in Transgenic Research (2007), 16

It has been shown previously that mutan can be co-synthesized with starch when a truncated mutansucrase (GtfICAT) is directed to potato tuber amyloplasts. The mutan seemed to adhere to the isolated starch ... [more ▼]

It has been shown previously that mutan can be co-synthesized with starch when a truncated mutansucrase (GtfICAT) is directed to potato tuber amyloplasts. The mutan seemed to adhere to the isolated starch granules, but it was not incorporated in the starch granules. In this study, GtfICAT was fused to the N- or C-terminus of a starch-binding domain (SBD). These constructs were introduced into two genetically different potato backgrounds (cv. Kardal and amf), in order to bring GtfICAT in more intimate contact with growing starch granules, and to facilitate the incorporation of mutan polymers in starch. Fusion proteins of the appropriate size were evidenced in starch granules, particularly in the amf back- ground. The starches from the various GtfICAT/ SBD transformants seemed to contain less mutan than those from transformants with GtfICAT alone, suggesting that the appended SBD might inhibit the activity of GtfICAT in the engineered fusion proteins. Scanning electron microscopy showed that expression of SBD-GtfICAT resulted in alterations of granule morphology in both genetic backgrounds. Surprisingly, the amf starches con- taining SBD-GtfICAT had a spongeous appearance, i.e., the granule surface contained many small holes and grooves, suggesting that this fusion protein can interfere with the lateral interactions of amylopectin sidechains. No differences in phys- ico-chemical properties of the transgenic starches were observed. Our results show that expression of granule-bound and ‘‘soluble’’ GtfICAT can affect starch biosynthesis differently. [less ▲]

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