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Nonhuman primates are usually used in scientific research as animal models of human behavior and disease. Although their use in research is overshadowed by the availability of less expensive and more abundant animal models such as zebrafish and rodents with easier husbandry, these animal models can’t always provide the best translational medicine when trying to elucidate human pathologies. Nonhuman primates represent an alternative to these animal models and provide distinct advantages due to their phylogenetic proximity to humans that lends itself to greater genetic, neurological, physiological, and behavioral similarities.
Figure 1. Comparative analysis of crab-eating macaque transcriptome sequences with human genes.
Macaque species are the most common nonhuman primate model, including the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and the long-tailed macaque (M. fascicularis), also known as the crab-eating or cynomolgus macaque. In macaques, population differences have been identified with regards to physiology, behavior, susceptibility to infectious disease, and toxicology. Thus, a priori genetic information on nonhuman primates used in research can aid in more informed selection of individuals for studies and better translational models.
Nevertheless, most macaque genes have not been cloned and are not available commercially. If one needs to study a gene function and a disease target in these nonhuman primates model, one would need to clone the macaque gene, which could be quite time-consuming.
Creative Biogene has devoted a large amount of resources in establishing expertise and capability in-house for high-throughput nonhuman primates gene cloning. In recent years, we have cloned out thousands of macaque genes from cDNA libraries and tissue. Our experience enables us to clone the very large genes and difficult-to-clone genes, including rhesus macaque and cynomolgus macaque genes.