Synthetic Biology Journal ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (2): 394-406.doi: 10.12211/2096-8280.2022-072

• Invited Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in mammalian chromosome engineering

Liyu ZHU1,2, Yulong ZHAO1,2, Wei LI1,3,4, Libin WANG1,3,4   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology,Institute of Zoology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China
    3.Institute for Stem Cell and Regeneration,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China
    4.Bejing Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine,Beijing 100101,China
  • Received:2022-12-11 Revised:2023-02-27 Online:2023-04-30 Published:2023-04-27
  • Contact: Wei LI, Libin WANG


Mammalian chromosome engineering refers to its editing through various methods to create animal models for chromosome diseases, pharmaceutical factories of human proteins, dissection of mechanism underlying evolution, and even synthetic life. In recent years, some milestone technologies of mammalian chromosome engineering, such as natural chromosome modifications, chromosome design and synthesis, and chromosome large fragment transfer, have been developed and integrated with each other. At the same time, embryonic stem cells have also been developed as a new chassis for mammalian synthetic biology. Applications of embryonic stem cells to synthetic biology greatly promote the development of mammalian chromosome engineering, giving birth to a large number of animal models for studies on diseases and evolution, including mouse models for Down syndrome, mice producing human monoclonal antibodies, and chromosome-ligation mice to study the biological effects of chromosome recombination. However, the manipulations of mammalian chromosomes are still challenging due to the lack of comprehensive understanding on chromosome composition and mammalian development. In addition to technological challenges, there are issues with bioethics and bio-safety. In this review, we review main technologies and current applications of mammalian chromosome engineering, and we also highlight future applications and challenges of mammalian chromosome engineering.

Key words: chromosome engineering, chromosome modification, chromosome synthesis, chromosome transfer, synthetic biology, chromosome disease, embryonic stem cells

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