Publications by authors named "Martin D Fray"

11 Publications

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Sharing mutations: are biobanks still required in the post-CRISPR/Cas9 era?

Mamm Genome 2017 08 18;28(7-8):383-387. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Mary Lyon Centre, MRC Harwell Institute, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, OX11 0RD, UK.

Cryopreservation is seen as a key aspect of good colony management which supports the drive towards improvements in animal care and the implementation of the 3Rs. However, following the advent of gene editing technologies, the generation of new mouse models is quicker and cheaper than ever before. This has led some to question the future value of biobanks around the world. In the following commentary, we argue that the need to cryopreserve mouse strains and distribute them from well-funded repositories is as strong as it has ever been. Repositories are not simply archives for unwanted mouse strains. Biobanks distribute identical QC verified mouse strains to the community and eliminate the need to recreate mice. They provide a check point in the development of mouse strains that minimises genetic drift and breeding failures. What is more, cryopreservation makes resource sharing easier, cheaper and improves animal care by eliminating the need for live animal shipments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-017-9710-yDOI Listing
August 2017

Aneuploidy screening of embryonic stem cell clones by metaphase karyotyping and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction.

BMC Cell Biol 2016 08 5;17(1):30. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

The Mary Lyon Centre, Medical Research Council Harwell Institute, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, OX11 0RD, Oxon, UK.

Background: Karyotypic integrity is essential for the successful germline transmission of alleles mutated in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Classical methods for the identification of aneuploidy involve cytological analyses that are both time consuming and require rare expertise to identify mouse chromosomes.

Results: As part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, we gathered data from over 1,500 ES cell clones and found that the germline transmission (GLT) efficiency of clones is compromised when over 50 % of cells harbour chromosome number abnormalities. In JM8 cells, chromosomes 1, 8, 11 or Y displayed copy number variation most frequently, whilst the remainder generally remain unchanged. We developed protocols employing droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) to accurately quantify the copy number of these four chromosomes, allowing efficient triage of ES clones prior to microinjection. We verified that assessments of aneuploidy, and thus decisions regarding the suitability of clones for microinjection, were concordant between classical cytological and ddPCR-based methods. Finally, we improved the method to include assay multiplexing so that two unstable chromosomes are counted simultaneously (and independently) in one reaction, to enhance throughput and further reduce the cost.

Conclusion: We validated a PCR-based method as an alternative to classical karyotype analysis. This technique enables laboratories that are non-specialist, or work with large numbers of clones, to precisely screen ES cells for the most common aneuploidies prior to microinjection to ensure the highest level of germline transmission potential. The application of this method allows early exclusion of aneuploid ES cell clones in the ES cell to mouse conversion process, thus improving the chances of obtaining germline transmission and reducing the number of animals used in failed microinjection attempts. This method can be applied to any other experiments that require accurate analysis of the genome for copy number variation (CNV).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12860-016-0108-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974727PMC
August 2016

High osmolality vitrification: a new method for the simple and temperature-permissive cryopreservation of mouse embryos.

PLoS One 2013 16;8(1):e49316. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

RIKEN BioResource Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Procedures for cryopreserving embryos vary considerably, each having its specific advantages and disadvantages in terms of technical feasibility, embryo survival yield, temperature permissibility and species- or strain-dependent applicability. Here we report a high osmolality vitrification (HOV) method that is advantageous in these respects. Cryopreservation by vitrification is generally very simple, but, unlike slow freezing, embryos should be kept at a supercooling temperature (below -130°C) to avoid cryodamage. We overcame this problem by using an HOV solution containing 42.5% (v/v) ethylene glycol, 17.3% (w/v) Ficoll and 1.0 M sucrose. This solution is more viscous than other cryopreservation solutions, but easy handling of embryos was assured by employing a less viscous equilibration solution before vitrification. Most (>80%) embryos cryopreserved in this solution survived at -80°C for at least 30 days. Normal mice were recovered even after intercontinental transportation in a conventional dry-ice package for 2-3 days, indicating that special containers such as dry shippers with liquid nitrogen vapor are unnecessary. The HOV solution could also be employed for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen, as with other conventional cryoprotectants. Finally, we confirmed that this new vitrification method could be applied successfully to embryos of all six strains of mice we have tested so far. Thus, our HOV method provides an efficient and reliable strategy for the routine cryopreservation of mouse embryos in animal facilities and biomedical laboratories, and for easy and cheap transportation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0049316PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3547031PMC
July 2013

Overview of new developments in and the future of cryopreservation in the laboratory mouse.

Mamm Genome 2012 Oct 31;23(9-10):572-9. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Mary Lyon Centre, Medical Research Council, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0RD, UK.

The large-scale mutagenesis programmes underway around the world are generating thousands of novel GA mouse strains that need to be securely archived. In parallel with advances in mutagenesis, the procedures used to cryopreserve mouse stocks are being continually refined in order to keep pace with demand. Moreover, the construction of extensive research infrastructures for systematic phenotyping is fuelling demand for these novel strains of mice and new approaches to the distribution of frozen and unfrozen embryos and gametes are being developed in order to reduce the dependency on the transportation of live mice. This article highlights some contemporary techniques used to archive, rederive, and transport mouse strains around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-012-9423-1DOI Listing
October 2012

Static respiratory cilia associated with mutations in Dnahc11/DNAH11: a mouse model of PCD.

Hum Mutat 2012 Mar 29;33(3):495-503. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Group, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Southampton NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.

Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder causing significant upper and lower respiratory tract morbidity and impaired fertility. Half of PCD patients show abnormal situs. Human disease loci have been identified but a mouse model without additional deleterious defects is elusive. The inversus viscerum mouse, mutated at the outer arm dynein heavy chain 11 locus (Dnahc11) is a known model of heterotaxy. We demonstrated immotile tracheal cilia with normal ultrastructure and reduced sperm motility in the Dnahc11(iv) mouse. This is accompanied by gross rhinitis, sinusitis, and otitis media, all indicators of human PCD. Strikingly, age-related progression of the disease is evident. The Dnahc11(iv) mouse is robust, lacks secondary defects, and requires no intervention to precipitate the phenotype. Together these findings show the Dnahc11(iv) mouse to be an excellent model of many aspects of human PCD. Mutation of the homologous human locus has previously been associated with hyperkinetic tracheal cilia in PCD. Two PCD patients with normal ciliary ultrastructure, one with immotile and one with hyperkinetic cilia were found to carry DNAH11 mutations. Three novel DNAH11 mutations were detected indicating that this gene should be investigated in patients with normal ciliary ultrastructure and static, as well as hyperkinetic cilia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22001DOI Listing
March 2012

Biological methods for archiving and maintaining mutant laboratory mice. Part II: recovery and distribution of conserved mutant strains.

Authors:
Martin D Fray

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;561:321-32

Frozen Embryo & Sperm Archive (FESA), Medical Research Council, Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell, UK.

The mouse is now firmly established as the model organism of choice for scientists studying mammalian biology and human disease. Consequently, large collections of novel genetically altered mouse lines have been deposited in secure archives around the world. If these resources are to be of value to the scientific community, they must be easily accessible to all researchers regardless of their embryological skills or geographical location.This chapter describes how the archiving centres attempt to make the strains they hold visible and accessible to all interested parties, and also outlines the methods currently used in laboratories around the world to recover mouse strains previously archived using the methods highlighted in this manual (see Chapter 20).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-019-9_21DOI Listing
September 2009

Biological methods for archiving and maintaining mutant laboratory mice. Part I: conserving mutant strains.

Authors:
Martin D Fray

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;561:301-19

Frozen Embryo & Sperm Archive (FESA), Medical Research Council, Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK.

The mouse is now firmly established as the model organism of choice for scientists studying mammalian biology and human disease. Consequently, a plethora of novel, genetically altered (GA) mouse lines have been created. In addition, the output from the large scale mutagenesis programmes currently under way around the world will increase the collection of GA mouse strains still further. Because of the implications for animal welfare and the constraints on resources, it would be unreasonable to expect anything other than those strains essential for ongoing research programmes to be maintained as breeding colonies. Unfortunately, unless the redundant strains are preserved using robust procedures, which guarantee their recovery, they will be lost to future generations of researchers.This chapter describes some of the preservation methods currently used in laboratories around the world to archive novel mouse strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-019-9_20DOI Listing
September 2009

Spontaneous exocrine pancreas hypoplasia in specific pathogen-free C3HeB/FeJ and 101/H mouse pups causes steatorrhea and runting.

Comp Med 2007 Apr;57(2):210-6

Pathology Group, Mary Lyon Centre, Medical Research Council Harwell, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK.

Under specific pathogen-free conditions, 1.3% to 1.8% of litters born in our inbred 101/H and C3HeB/FeJ mouse colonies had pups with steatorrhea and runting. Clinically affected male and female pups were first identified when they were from 14 to 25 d old. Unaffected littermates were healthy and were weaned successfully. Postmortem findings in 8 clinically affected mice included a small, poorly differentiated exocrine pancreas comprising cytokeratin-negative duct-like structures but lacking recognizable acinar cells with their normal carboxypeptidase B-positive zymogen granules. Endocrine pancreas islets were unremarkable and contained insulin-positive beta cells and glucagon-positive alpha cells. There was mild inflammation of the hindgut but no evidence of intestinal pathogens or marked inflammation or necrosis of pancreas, either alone or as part of a multisystemic inflammatory condition. Sera from pups in 4 affected litters did not contain antibodies to reovirus 3, mouse coronavirus, rotavirus, or mouse adenovirus 2. Furthermore, 4 sets of parental mice and sentinel mice from the facility were negative for 13 viruses, bacteria, and parasites. C3HeB/FeJ and 101/H inbred strains may be genetically predisposed because the steatorrhea and runting was absent in 13 other mouse strains and subspecies bred in the specific pathogen-free facility. This condition resembles exocrine pancreas hypoplasia, but the inheritance is complex. A wider implication is that runting coupled with steatorrhea are phenotypic criteria to suspect pancreatic disease that could be used in the context of a mouse N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-mutagenesis program to identify potential mutants with defects in pancreas development.
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April 2007

Quantification of different human alpha interferon subtypes and pegylated interferon activities by measuring MxA promoter activation.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2005 Sep;49(9):3770-5

Laboratory of Virology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire of Amiens, Amiens, France.

Alpha interferons (alpha-IFNs) are potent biologically active proteins synthesized and secreted by somatic cells during viral infection. Quantification of alpha-IFN concentrations in biological samples is used for diagnosis. More recently, recombinant IFNs have been used as antiviral, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory therapeutic agents, and particularly for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. For this purpose, IFN has recently been coupled to polyethylene glycol (PEG) to improve the pharmacokinetic properties. The measure of alpha-IFN in biological samples from treated patients could be useful to ensure compliance to therapy and the true IFN activity in relation to viral decay during follow-up. In particular, it could be used to monitor the PEG-IFN concentration in patients treated for hepatitis C virus infection. The most frequently used test is a bioassay based on the antiviral property of the IFN, but the assay is not highly reproducible. Here, we present a reporter test based on MxA promoter activation of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression (Mx-CAT). MxA is an antiviral protein induced and tightly regulated by alpha-IFN. The Mx-CAT assay showed good reproducibility of 15% and was suitable to quantify PEG-IFN and numerous other alpha-IFN subtypes as well, despite a differential MxA promoter activation in relation with the subtype. A good correlation was obtained with the reporter assay and a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on samples from treated patients. This test could be useful for monitoring IFN therapy of chronically infected hepatitis C virus-infected patients treated with the standard IFN, PEG-IFN, and probably forthcoming recombinant IFNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.49.9.3770-3775.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1195395PMC
September 2005

Inhibition of beta interferon transcription by noncytopathogenic bovine viral diarrhea virus is through an interferon regulatory factor 3-dependent mechanism.

J Virol 2002 Sep;76(18):8979-88

Institute for Animal Health, Compton Laboratory, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 7NN, United Kingdom.

The induction and inhibition of the interferon (IFN) response and apoptosis by bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has been examined. Here we show that prior infection of cells by noncytopathogenic BVDV (ncp BVDV) fails to block transcriptional responses to alpha/beta IFN. In contrast, ncp BVDV-infected cells fail to produce IFN-alpha/beta or MxA in response to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) or infection with a heterologous virus (Semliki Forest virus [SFV]). ncp BVDV preinfection is unable to block cp BVDV- or SFV-induced apoptosis. The effects of ncp BVDV infection on the transcription factors controlling the IFN-beta induction pathway have been analyzed. The transcription factor NF-kappa B was not activated following ncp BVDV infection, but ncp BVDV infection was not able to block the activation of NF-kappa B by either SFV or tumor necrosis factor alpha. Furthermore, ncp BVDV infection did not result in the activation of stress kinases (JNK1 and JNK2) or the phosphorylation of transcription factors ATF-2 and c-Jun; again, ncp BVDV infection was not able to block their activation by SFV. Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) was shown to be translocated to the nuclei of infected cells in response to ncp BVDV, although DNA-binding of IRF-3 was not seen in nuclear extracts. In contrast, an IRF-3-DNA complex was observed in nuclear extracts from cells infected with SFV, but the appearance of this complex was blocked when cells were previously exposed to ncp BVDV. We conclude that the inhibition of IFN induction by this pestivirus involves a block to IRF-3 function, and we speculate that this may be a key characteristic for the survival of pestiviruses in nature.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC136435PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.76.18.8979-8988.2002DOI Listing
September 2002
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