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Title:
RODENTS HAVING A HUMANIZED TMPRSS GENE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/151453
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Genetically modified rodents such as mice and rats, and methods and compositions for making and using the same, are provided. The rodents comprise a humanization of at least one endogenous rodent Tmprss gene, such as an endogenous rodent Tmprss2, Tmprss4, or Tmprss11d gene.

Inventors:
PURCELL NGAMBO LISA (US)
MUJICA ALEXANDER O (US)
TANG YAJUN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2017/019574
Publication Date:
September 08, 2017
Filing Date:
February 27, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
REGENERON PHARMA (US)
International Classes:
A01K67/027; C12N9/64
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013158516A12013-10-24
Foreign References:
US6586251B22003-07-01
US7576259B22009-08-18
US7659442B22010-02-09
US7294754B22007-11-13
US20080078000A12008-03-27
US20140235933A12014-08-21
US20140310828A12014-10-16
US20130273070A12013-10-17
Other References:
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YU SUN: "Characterization of the TMPRSS2 Protease as a Modulator of Prostate Cancer Metastasis", March 2009 (2009-03-01), pages 1 - 12, XP002769594, Retrieved from the Internet
E. BOTTCHER-FRIEBERTSHAUSER ET AL: "Cleavage of Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin by Airway Proteases TMPRSS2 and HAT Differs in Subcellular Localization and Susceptibility to Protease Inhibitors", JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, vol. 84, no. 11, 1 June 2010 (2010-06-01), pages 5605 - 5614, XP055064923, ISSN: 0022-538X, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00140-10
ANNY DEVOY ET AL: "Genomically humanized mice: technologies and promises", NATURE REVIEWS GENETICS, vol. 13, 1 January 2012 (2012-01-01), pages 14 - 20, XP055126260, DOI: 10.1038/nrg3116
A. J. MURPHY ET AL: "Mice with megabase humanization of their immunoglobulin genes generate antibodies as efficiently as normal mice", PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, vol. 111, no. 14, 25 March 2014 (2014-03-25), pages 5153 - 5158, XP055162338, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1324022111
L. E. MACDONALD ET AL: "Precise and in situ genetic humanization of 6 Mb of mouse immunoglobulin genes", PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, vol. 111, no. 14, 25 March 2014 (2014-03-25), pages 5147 - 5152, XP055126064, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1323896111
STEPHANIE BERTRAM ET AL: "Novel insights into proteolytic cleavage of influenza virus hemagglutinin", REVIEWS IN MEDICAL VIROLOGY, vol. 20, no. 5, 27 August 2010 (2010-08-27), GB, pages 298 - 310, XP055367432, ISSN: 1052-9276, DOI: 10.1002/rmv.657
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THANGAVEL RAJAGOWTHAMEE R ET AL: "Animal models for influenza virus pathogenesis, transmission, and immunology", JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGICAL METHODS, ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHERS B.V.,AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 410, 4 April 2014 (2014-04-04), pages 60 - 79, XP029053090, ISSN: 0022-1759, DOI: 10.1016/J.JIM.2014.03.023
BUGGE ET AL., J. BIOI. CHEM., vol. 284, no. 35, 2009, pages 23177 - 23181
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROLZ, Edward W. (Scott Murphy & Presser,400 Garden City Plaza,Suite 30, Garden City New York, US)
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Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A rodent comprising a humanized Tmprss gene that comprises a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

2. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that comprises an ectodomain substantially identical to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the cognate human TMPRSS gene.

3. The rodent of claim 2, wherein the humanized Tmprss protein further comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

4. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the nucleotide sequence of the cognate human TMPRSS gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the cognate human TMPRSS gene.

5. The rodent of claim 1, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

6. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is located at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus, and results from a replacement of a genomic sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene with said nucleotide sequence of the cognate human TMPRSS gene.

7. The rodent of claim 1, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is a humanized Tmprss2 gene, the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene is an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and the cognate human TMPRSS gene is a human TMPRSS2 gene.

8. The rodent of claim 7, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that comprises an ectodomain substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene.

9. The rodent of claim 8, wherein the human TMPRSS2 protein comprises an amino acid sequence at least 85% identical with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4.

10. The rodent of claim 8, wherein the ectodomain of the humanized Tmprss2 protein comprises an amino acid sequence substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of residues W106 to G492 of SEQ ID NO: 4.

11. The rodent of claim 8, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 protein further comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene.

12. The rodent of claim 7, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS2 gene encodes a polypeptide mat is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene.

13. The rodent of claim 12, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS2 gene comprises coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

14. The rodent of claim 13, further comprising the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

15. The rodent of claim 7, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene.

16. The rodent of claim 7, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene comprises coding exons 1-2 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is

substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by said endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by said human TMPRSS2 gene.

17. The rodent of claim 16, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene comprises an exon 3 that comprises a 5' portion of coding exon 3 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a 3' portion of coding exon 3 of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

18. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is a humanized Tmprss4 gene, the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene is an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and the cognate human TMPRSS gene is a human TMPRSS4 gene.

19. The rodent of claim 18, wherein the humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss4 protein that comprises an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TM PRSS4 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS4 gene.

20. The rodent of claim 19, wherein the human TMPRSS4 protein comprises an amino acid sequence at least 85% identical with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 11.

21. The rodent of claim 19, wherein the ectodomain comprises an amino acid sequence substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of residues K54-L437 of SEQ ID NO: 11.

22. The rodent of claim 19, wherein the humanized Tmprss4 protein further comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene.

23. The rodent of claim 18, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS4 gene encodes an ectodomain substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS4 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS4 gene.

24. The rodent of claim 23, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS4 gene comprises coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS4 gene.

25. The rodent of claim 24, wherein the stop codon of the human TMPRSS4 gene is followed by the 3' UTR of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene.

26. The rodent of claim 18, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene.

27. The rodent of claim 18, wherein the humanized Tmprss4 gene comprises coding exon 1 through coding exon 3 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS4 gene.

28. The rodent of claim 1, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is a humanized

Tmprsslld gene, the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene is an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene, and the cognate human TMPRSS gene is a human TMPRSS11D gene.

29. The rodent of claim 28, wherein the humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprss 1 Id protein mat comprises an ectodomain mat is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS 11 D protein encoded by the human

TMPRSS 11 D gene.

30. The rodent of claim 29, wherein the human TMPRSS 1 ID protein comprises an amino acid sequence at least 85% identical with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 18.

31. The rodent of claim 29, wherein the ectodomain comprises an amino acid sequence substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of residues A42 to 1418 of SEQ ID NO: 18.

32. The rodent of claim 29, wherein the humanized Tmprssl Id protein further comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene.

33. The rodent of claim 28, wherein the nucleotide sequence of me human TMPRSS11D gene encodes an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSSl ID protein encoded by the human TMPRSSUD gene.

34. The rodent of claim 33, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSSUD gene comprises coding exon 3 through the stop codon in coding exon 10 of the human TMPRSSUD gene.

35. The rodent of claim 34, further comprising the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSSUD gene.

36. The rodent of claim 28, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein encoded by endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene.

37. The rodent of claim 28, wherein the humanized Tmprssl Id gene comprises coding exons 1-2 of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene, and coding exons 3 through coding exon 10 of the human TMPRSSUD gene.

38. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the rodent is a mouse or a rat.

39. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the rodent is heterozygous for the humanized Tmprss gene.

40. The rodent of claim 1, wherein the rodent is homozygous for the humanized Tmprss gene.

41. The rodent of claim 1 , wherein the rodent comprises at least two humanized Tmprss genes at cognate endogenous Tmprss gene loci.

42. An isolated rodent cell or tissue whose genome comprises a humanized Tmprss gene mat comprises a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

43. The isolated rodent cell or tissue of claim 42, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprsslld gene.

44. A rodent embryonic stem cell whose genome comprises a humanized Tmprss gene mat comprises a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

45. The rodent embryonic stem cell of claim 44, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprsslld gene.

46. A rodent embryo generated from the rodent embryonic stem cell of claim 44.

47. A vector comprising a human genomic DNA encoding the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein, flanked by a 5' nucleotide sequence and a 3' nucleotide sequence that are homologous to genomic DNA sequences flanking a rodent genomic DNA at a rodent Tmprss locus encoding the ectodomain of a cognate rodent Tmprss protein.

48. A method of providing a rodent whose genome comprises a humanized Tmprss gene, the method comprising: modifying the genome of a rodent to replace a genomic sequence of an endogenous Tmprss gene with a genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene to form a humanized Tmprss gene.

49. A method of making a rodent having a humanized Tmprss gene, comprising:

(a) inserting a genomic fragment into an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus in a rodent embryonic stem cell, said genomic fragment comprising a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, thereby forming a humanized Tmprss gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is under control of the promoter of the rodent Tmprss gene at the endogenous rodent Tmprss locus;

(b) obtaining a rodent embryonic stem cell comprising the humanized Tmprss gene of (a); and,

(c) creating a rodent using the rodent embryonic stem cell of (b).

50. The method of claim 49, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that comprises an ectodomain substantially identical to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the cognate human TMPRSS gene.

51. The method of claim SO, wherein the humanized Tmprss protein further comprises a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the rodent Tmprss gene at said endogenous rodent Tmprss locus.

52. The method of claim 49, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprsslld gene.

53. The method of claim 52, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene comprises coding exons 1-2 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

54. The method of claim 53, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene comprises an exon 3 that comprises a 5* portion of coding exon 3 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a 3' portion of coding exon 3 of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

55. The method of claim 52, wherein the humanized Tmprss4 gene comprises coding exon 1 through coding exon 3 of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS4 gene.

56. The method of claim 52, wherein the humanized Tmprsslld gene comprises coding exons 1-2 of the endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene, and coding exons 3 through coding exon 10 of the human TMPRSSUD gene.

57. The method of claim 52, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that comprises the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein selected from the group consisting of a human TMPRSS2 protein, a human TMPRSS4 protein, and a human TMPRSSUD protein.

58. The method of claim 57, wherein the humanized Tmprss protein is a humanized Tmprss2 protein comprising W106 to G492 or the C -terminal 387 amino acids of a human TMPRSS2 protein.

59. The method of claim 57, wherein the humanized Tmprss protein is a humanized Tmprss4 protein comprising K54-L437 or the C -terminal 384 amino acids of a human TMPRSS4 protein.

60. The method of claim 57, wherein the humanized Tmprss protein is a humanized Tmprss 1 Id protein comprising A42-I418 or the C-terminal 377 amino acids of a human TMPRSSUD protein.

61. The method of claim 49, wherein the rodent is a mouse or a rat.

62. A method of assessing the therapeutic efficacy of a compound in treating influenza virus infection, comprising:

providing a rodent according to any one of claims 1-41; administering an influenza virus and a candidate compound to the rodent; and monitoring the presence and severity of influenza virus infection in the rodent to determine the therapeutic efficacy of the candidate compound.

63. The method of claim 62, wherein the influenza virus is administered to the rodent before the candidate compound.

64. The method of claim 62, wherein the influenza virus is administered to the rodent after the candidate compound.

65. The method of claim 62, wherein the candidate compound is an antibody or antigen- binding fragment thereof specific for a human TMPRSS protein.

66. The method of claim 65, wherein the human TMPRSS protein is selected from the group consisting of a human TMPRSS2 protein, a human TMPRSS4 protein, and a human TMPRSSl ID protein.

The method of claim 62, wherein the rodent is a mouse or a rat.

Description:
RODENTS HAVING A HUMANIZED TMPRSS GENE

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001 J This application claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/301,023, filed February 29, 2016, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF SEQUENCE LISTING

[0002] The Sequence Listing in the ASCII text file, named as

33093_10234US01_SequenceListing.txt of 275 KB, created on February 13, 2017, and submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office via EFS-Web, is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Type Π transmembrane serine proteases are a family of proteases characterized by an N-terminal transmembrane domain (Bugge et al., J. Biol. Chem. 284 (35): 23177- 23181, 2009; Hooper et al, J. Biol. Chem. 272(2): 857-860, 2001). All members of this family are expressed as single-chain zymogens and are proteolytically activated by cleavage within a highly conserved R/(IV) VGG motif. One member of the family, transmembrane protease, serine type 4 (TMPRSS4), has been shown to activate the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) regulating the sodium and water flux across epithelia (Guipponi et al. 2002 Hum. Mol. Genet. 11:2829; Vuagniaux et al. 2002 J. Gen. Physiol. 120:191). The proteolytical activators of TMPRSS4 are unknown; however, data available to date suggests that the protein is autoactivated. When activated, the catalytic domain of TMPRSS4 remains bound to the N-terminus of the protein via a di sulphide linkage. TMPRSS4, TMPRSS2 and TMPRSSl 1 D (or Human Airway 7rypsin-like protease; "HAT") have been shown in vitro to cleave influenza A hemagglutinin (HA), which is the first essential step in the viral life cycle. This cleavage is essential for activity of HA, as the protein is synthesized as a precursor protein (HA0) and requires cleavage into HA1 and HA2 for activity. RNAi knock-down of TMPRSS4 in Caco-2 cells resulted in reduced spread of the virus. In addition, TMPRSS4 was shown to be strongly unregulated in the lungs of mice infected with influenza (Bottcher et al 2006 J. Virol 80:9896; Bottcher et al 2009 Vaccine 27: 6324; Bottcher-Friebershausser et al 2010 J. Virol 84: 5604; Bertam et al 2010 J. Virol 84:10016; Bertam etal 2010 J. Virol 84:10016; Bottcher-Friebershausser et al 2011 J. Virol 85: 1554; Bahgat eia/. 2011 Virol J. 8:27).

[0004] Development of an in vivo system, e.g., a rodent model of infection, is needed in order to identify and test compounds including antibodies that specifically target human type Π transmembrane serine proteases for the treatment and prevention of viral infection and other diseases.

SUMMARY

[0005] The present invention encompasses the recognition that it is desirable to engineer rodent animals to provide in vivo systems for identifying and developing new therapeutics. For example, the present invention encompasses the recognition that rodents having a humanized Tmprss gene are desirable for use in identifying and developing therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of viral infections.

[0006] In one aspect, the invention provides a rodent whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene is under control of a 5' regulatory sequence(s), such as the promoter and/or enhancer(s), of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

[0007] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene in rodents disclosed herein encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) to the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein. In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss protein contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein. [0008] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the cognate human TMPRSS gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the cognate human TMPRSS gene. In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

[0009] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss gene located at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus that results from a replacement of a contiguous genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene with a contiguous genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene. In specific embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene being inserted includes exon sequences encoding an ectodomain substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by human TMPRSS gene. In some embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene also includes the 3' UTR of the cognate human TMPRSS gene.

[0010] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein is heterozygous for a humanized Tmprss gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus. In other embodiments, a rodent is homozygous for a humanized Tmprss gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus.

[0011] In further embodiments, a rodent contains two or more humanized Tmprss genes at different endogenous rodent Tmprss loci with each endogenous rodent Tmprss locus being humanized with a respective cognate human TMPRSS gene; for example, two or more of humanized Tmprss2, humanized Tmprss4, and humanized Tmprss lid genes. [0012] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss2 gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene.

[0013] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) with the ectodomain of the human

TMPRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene used in humanization. The human TMPRSS2 protein contains, in some embodiments, an amino acid sequence at least 85% identical (e.g., at least 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence composed of residues W106 to G492 or the C-terminal 387 amino acids of a human TMPRSS2 protein as set forth in, e.g., SEQ ID NO: 4. In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene being humanized. An exemplary endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0014] In some embodiments, a rodent contains a humanized Tmprss2 gene mat includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS2 gene encodes an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene. In specific embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene is a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene containing coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene. In particular embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene further contains the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene. In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene included in a humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene.

[0015] In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene contains coding exons 1-2 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS2 gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized

Tmprss2 protein that contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TM PRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene. The humanized Tmprss2 gene contains an exon 3 that in some

embodiments is coding exon 3 of a human TMPRSS2 gene, and in other embodiments is coding exon 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene. In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss2 gene contains an exon 3 that includes a 5' portion of coding exon 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a 3' portion of coding exon 3 of a human TMPRSS2 gene.

[0016] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss4 gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss4 gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene.

[0017] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized

Tmprss4 protein that contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%,

95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) with the ectodomain of the human

TMPRSS4 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS4 gene used in humanization. The human TMPRSS4 protein contains, in some embodiments, an amino acid sequence at least

85% identical (e.g., at least 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 11. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence composed of residues K54 to L437 or the C-terminal 384 amino acids of a human TMPRSS4 protein as set forth in, e.g., SEQ ID NO: 11. In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized

Tmprss4 protein that further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss4 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene being humanized. An exemplary endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 9.

[0018] In some embodiments, a rodent contains a humanized Tmprss4 gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene encodes an ectodomain substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TM PRSS4 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS4 gene. In specific embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene is a contiguous genomic sequence containing coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene. In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene included in a humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss4 protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene.

[0019] In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene contains coding exon 1 through coding exon 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene.

[0020] In some embodiments, a rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized

Tmprsslld gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene, wherein the humanized Tmprsslld gene is under control of the promoter of the endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene.

[0021] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprssl Id protein that contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS1 ID protein encoded by the human TMPRSS11D gene used in humanization. The human TMPRSS1 ID protein contains, in some embodiments, an amino acid sequence at least 85% identical (e.g., at least 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 18. In some embodiments, a humanized

Tmprssl Id protein contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the amino acid sequence composed of residues A42-I418 or the C -terminal 377 amino acids of a human TMPRSS11 D protein as set forth in, e.g., SEQ ID NO: 18. In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprssl Id gene encodes a humanized Tmprssl Id protein that further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical (e.g., at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical) with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene being humanized. An exemplary endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 16.

[0022] In some embodiments, a rodent contains a humanized Tmprssl Id gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS1 ID gene encodes an ectodomain substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS1 ID protein encoded by the human TMPRSS11D gene. In specific embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSSlld gene is a contiguous genomic sequence containing coding exon 3 through the stop codon in coding exon 10 of a human TMPRSS11D gene. In particular embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene further contains the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS11D gene. In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene included in a humanized Tmprssl Id gene encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprssl 1 d protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene.

[0023] In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl Id gene contains coding exons 1-2 of an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene, and coding exon 3 through coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSSllD gene. [0024] In another aspect, the invention provides an isolated rodent cell or tissue whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss gene as described herein. In specific embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprss] Id gene.

[0025] In still another aspect, the invention provides a rodent embryonic stem cell whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss gene as described herein. In specific embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprsslld gene.

[0026] In another aspect, a rodent embryo generated from the rodent embryonic stem cell disclosed herein is also provided.

[0027] In one aspect, the invention provides a nucleic acid vector suitable for use in humanizing an endogenous Tmprss gene in a rodent. In some embodiments, the nucleic acid vector includes a human Tmprss nucleic acid sequence (e.g., a human genomic DNA encoding the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein), flanked by a 5' homology arm and a 3' homology arm. The 5' and 3' homology arms are nucleic acid sequences that are placed at 5' and 3', respectively, to the human Tmprss nucleic acid sequence and are homologous to genomic DNA sequences at an endogenous Tmprss locus in a rodent that flank a rodent genomic DNA encoding the ectodomain of a cognate rodent Tmprss protein. Thus, the 5' and 3' homology arms are capable of mediating homologous recombination and replacement of the rodent genomic DNA encoding the ectodomain of the cognate rodent Tmprss protein with the human Tmprss nucleic acid sequence to form a humanized Tmprss gene as described herein.

[0028] In a further aspect, the invention is directed to a method of providing a rodent whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss gene. The method includes modifying the genome of a rodent to replace a genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene with a genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene to form a humanized Tmprss gene.

[0029] In some embodiments, the invention provides a method of making a rodent (such as a mouse or a rat) having a humanized Tmprss gene, the method including the steps of (a) inserting a genomic fragment into an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus in a rodent embryonic stem cell, wherein the genomic fragment contains a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, thereby forming a humanized Tmprss gene (such as those described herein); (b) obtaining a rodent embryonic stem cell comprising the humanized Tmprss gene of (a); and (c) creating a rodent using the rodent embryonic stem cell of (b).

[0030] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene is selected from the group consisting of a humanized Tmprss2 gene, a humanized Tmprss4 gene, and a humanized Tmprss lid gene. In various embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that contains an ectodomain substantially identical (e.g., at least 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence) to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the human TMPRSS gene used for humanization. In specific embodiments, the humanized Tmprss protein contains the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein selected from the group consisting of a human TMPRSS2 protein, a human

TMPRSS4 protein, and a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein. In specific embodiments, the humanized Tmprss protein further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene being humanized.

[0031] In another aspect, the invention provides a method of using a rodent disclosed herein to assess the therapeutic efficacy of a compound (e.g., candidate inhibitors mat specifically target a human TMPRSS protein) in treating influenza virus infection. The method can include the steps of providing a rodent described herein, administering an influenza virus and a candidate compound to the rodent; and monitoring the presence and severity of influenza virus infection in the rodent to determine the therapeutic efficacy of the drug candidate.

[0032] In some embodiments, the influenza virus is administered to the rodent before the compound. In other embodiments, the influenza virus is administered to the rodent after the compound.

[0033] In some embodiments, the candidate compound is an antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof specific for a human TMPRSS protein. In specific embodiments, the candidate compound is an antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof specific for a human TMPRSS protein selected from the group consisting of a human TMPRSS2 protein, a human TMPRSS4 protein, and a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein.

[0034] Other features, objects, and advantages of the present invention are apparent in the detailed description that follows. It should be understood, however, mat the detailed description, while indicating embodiments of the present invention, is given by way of illustration only, not limitation. Various changes and modifications within the scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0035] The Drawings included herein, which are composed of the following Figures, are for illustration purposes only and not for limitation.

[0036] Figures 1A-1D. Exemplary strategy for humanization of mouse Tmprss2.

[0037] Figure 1 A shows a diagram, not to scale, of the genomic organization of mouse Tmprss2 and human TMPRSS2 genes. Exons are represented by thin bars placed across the genomic sequences, with the first coding exon for both genes indicated by the start codon "ATG" above the exon, and the last coding exon indicated by the "Stop" codon above the exon. A mouse genomic fragment of about 25,291 bp to be deleted and a human genomic fragment of about 25,091 bp to be inserted are indicated. Locations of probes used in an assay described in Example 1 are indicated. TM: transmembrane domain; SRCR: scavenger receptor cysteine-rich like domain; LDLRa: low density lipoprotein receptor class A.

[0038] Figure IB illustrates, not to scale, an exemplary modified BAC vector for humanization of an endogenous mouse Tmprss2 gene, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 22, 23 and 24).

[0039] Figure 1C illustrates, not to scale, a humanized Tmprss2 allele after the neomycin cassette has been deleted, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 22 and 25).

[0040] Figure ID sets forth a sequence alignment of a human TMPRSS2 protein (SEQ ID NO: 4), a mouse Tmprss2 protein (SEQ ID NO: 2), and a humanized Tmprss2 protein ("7010 mutant pro") (SEQ ID NO: 7). [0041] Figures 2A-2D. Exemplary strategy for humanization of mouse Tmprss4.

[0042] Figure 2A shows a diagram, not to scale, of the genomic organization of mouse Tmprss4 and human TMPRSS4 genes. Exons are represented by thin bars placed across the genomic sequences, with the first exon (also the first coding exon) for both genes indicated by the start codon "ATG" above the exon, and the last coding exon indicated by the "Stop" codon above the exon. The mouse genomic fragment of about 11,074 bp to be deleted and the human genomic fragment of about 14,963 bp to be inserted are indicated. Locations of probes used in an assay described in Example 2 are indicated. TM: transmembrane domain; SRCR: scavenger receptor cysteine-rich like domain; LDLRa: low density lipoprotein receptor class A.

[0043] Figure 2B illustrates, not to scale, an exemplary modified B AC vector for humanization of an endogenous mouse Tmprss4 gene, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 38, 39 and 40).

[0044] Figure 2C illustrates, not to scale, a humanized Tmprss4 allele after the neomycin cassette has been deleted, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 41 and 40).

[0045] Figure 2D sets forth a sequence alignment of a human TMPRSS4 protein (SEQ ID NO: 11), a mouse Tmprss4 protein (SEQ ID NO: 9), and a humanized Tmprss4 protein ("7224 mutant pro") (SEQ ID NO: 14).

[0046] Figures 3A-3D. Exemplary strategy for humanization of mouse Tmprsslld.

[0047] Figure 3A shows a diagram, not to scale, of the genomic organization of mouse Tmprsslld and human TMPRSS11D genes. Exons are represented by thin bars placed across the genomic sequences, with the first exon (also the first codon exon) for both genes indicated by the start codon "ATG" above the exon, and the last coding exon indicated by the "Stop" codon above the exon. A mouse genomic fragment of about 35,667 bp to be deleted and a human genomic fragment of about 33,927 bp to be inserted are indicated. Locations of probes used in an assay described in Example 3 are indicated. TM:

transmembrane domain; SEA: domain found in sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin. [0048] Figure 3B illustrates, not to scale, an exemplary modified BAC vector for humanization of an endogenous mouse Tmprsslld gene, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 57, 58 and 59).

[0049] Figure 3C illustrates, not to scale, a humanized Tmprssll allele after the neomycin cassette has been deleted, along with the junction sequences (SEQ ID NOS: 57 and 60).

[0050] Figure 3D sets form a sequence alignment of a human TMPRSS1 ID protein (SEQ ID NO: 18), a mouse Tmprssl Id protein (SEQ ID NO: 16), and a humanized

Tmprssl Id protein ("7226 mutant pro") (SEQ ID NO: 21).

[0051] Figure 4 depicts the results of an experiment showing mat MAID7225

HumInTMPRSS4 mice do not differ in their susceptibility to challenge with high doses of severe influenza A H1N1 or severe, mouse-adapted H3N2. MAID7225 Humln TMRPSS4 mice challenged with A/Puerto Rico/08/1934 (H1N1) (light gray circles, dotted line) showed similar survival rates compared to wild-type mice (light gray squares, dotted line).

Likewise, MAID7225 Humln TMRPSS4 mice challenged with A/Aichi/02/1968-X31 (H3N2) (dark gray triangles, dotted line) showed similar survival rates compared to wild- type mice (light gray inverse triangles, dashed line). Mice were infected IN on day 0 with either 1150 PFUs of A/Puerto Rico/08/1934 (H1N1) or 10,000 PFUs of A/Aichi/02/1968- X31 (H3N2). The control group included uninfected negative control MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 and wild-type mice (black diamonds, solid line).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS

[0052] The present invention relates to genetically modified rodents (e.g., mice and rats) having a humanized gene encoding a type II transmembrane serine protease (or "Tmprss", for transmembrane j?rotease/serine). The genetically modified rodents are suitable for use in screening for candidate compounds that specifically target a human TMPRSS molecule for the treatment and prevention of diseases such as influenza virus infection. Accordingly, the present invention provides genetically modified rodents having a humanized Tmprss gene, cells and tissues isolated from the genetically modified rodents, methods and compositions for making the genetically modified rodents, and use of the genetically modified rodents for screening and testing therapeutic compounds. The various embodiments of the present invention are further described below.

Type Π Transmembrane Serine Proteases ("Tmprss ")

[0053] Type Π transmembrane serine proteases, also referred to herein as "Tmprss" for non-human molecules or "TMPRSS" for human molecules ("transmembrane

/jrotease/serine"), are a family of proteins characterized by an N-terminal transmembrane domain and a C-terminal extracellular serine protease domain. At least 18 members have been identified in the family, which are grouped into four subfamilies (Bugge et al. (2009), supra). All members share several common structural features mat define the family, including (i) a short N-terminal cytoplasmic domain, (ii) a transmembrane domain, and (iii) an ectodomain that contains a protease domain and a stem region that links the

transmembrane domain with the protease domain. The stem region contains a combination of modular structural domains of six different types: a SEA (sea urchin sperm

protein/enteropeptidase/agrin) domain, a group A scavenger receptor domain, a LDLA (/ow- Jensity Apoprotein receptor class A) domain, a CUB (Cls/Clr urchin embryonic growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein- 1) domain, a MAM (meprinM5 antigen/receptor protein phosphatase ma) domain, and a frizzled domain. See review by Bugge et al. (2009), supra. For example, TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4, both of which belong to the hepsin/TMPRSS subfamily, have a group A scavenger receptor domain, preceded by a single LDLA domain in the stem region. TMPRSS 1 ID, also known as "HAT" for Miman airway trypsin-like protease that belongs to the HAT/DESC subfamily, has a single SEA domain. See Figure 1 of Bugge et al. (2009), supra.

[0054] Type Π transmembrane serine proteases are produced initially as inactive proenzymes that require activation by cleavage following a basic amino acid residue in a consensus activation motif preceding the protease domain. Some of the activated proteases remain membrane bound as a result of a disulfide bond between the prodomain and the protease domain. The extracellular domains are considered to be critical for cellular localization, activation, inhibition, and/or substrate specificity of these proteases (Bugge et al. (2009), supra; Szabo et al, Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 40: 1297-1316 (2008)). [0055] Various biochemical and pathophysiological information has been documented for members of the type Π transmembrane serine proteases. TMPRSS2, TMPRSS4 and TMPRSS11D have been shown in vitro to cleave influenza A hemagglutinin (HA), which is the first essential step in the viral life cycle. Genetically modified rodent animals having a humanized Tmprss gene disclosed herein provide useful in vivo systems that allow for a thorough understanding of the biological functions of the TMPRSS molecules, as well as for screening therapeutic compounds that specifically target human TMPRSS molecules.

[0056] Exemplary Tmprss sequences, including mouse, human and humanized Tmprss nucleic acid and protein sequences, are provided in this application and are summarized in the following table. Primer and probe sequences used in the assays described in the examples section, and insertion junction sequences of exemplary humanized Tmprss alleles, are also included in the table.

Humanized Tmprss Rodent Animals

[0057] In one aspect, the present invention provides rodent animals that contain in the germline a humanized Tmprss gene encoding a humanized Tmprss protein.

[0058] The term "humanized", when used in the context of nucleic acids or proteins, refers to nucleic acids or proteins whose structures (i.e., nucleotide or amino acid sequences) include portions mat correspond substantially or identically with structures of a particular gene or protein found in nature in a rodent animal, and also include portions that differ from that found in the relevant rodent gene or protein and instead correspond more closely or identically with structures found in a corresponding human gene or protein. A rodent containing a humanized gene or expressing a humanized protein is a "humanized" rodent.

[0059] In some embodiments, a rodent of the present invention is selected from a mouse, a rat, and a hamster. In some embodiments, a rodent of the present invention is selected from the superfamily Muroidea. In some embodiments, a genetically modified rodent of the present invention is from a family selected from Calomyscidae (e.g., mouse-like hamsters), Cricetidae (e.g., hamster, New World rats and mice, voles), Muridae (true mice and rats, gerbils, spiny mice, crested rats), Nesomyidae (climbing mice, rock mice, with-tailed rats, Malagasy rats and mice), Platacanthomyidae (e.g., spiny dormice), and Spalacidae (e.g., mole rates, bamboo rats, and zokors). In some certain embodiments, a genetically modified rodent of the present invention is selected from a true mouse or rat (family Muridae), a gerbil, a spiny mouse, and a crested rat. In some certain embodiments, a genetically modified mouse of the present invention is from a member of the family Muridae.

[0060] to some embodiments, the rodent disclosed herein contains a humanized Tmprss gene in the genome that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and the nucleotide sequence of the human TMPRSS gene are operably linked to each other such that the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a Tmprss protein and is under control of a 5' regulatory elements), such as the promoter and/or enhancer(s), of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

[0061] The present invention is particularly directed to like-for-like humanization; in other words, a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene is operably linked to a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene to form a humanized gene. For example, in some embodiments, a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene is operably linked to a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene to form a humanized Tmprss2 gene. In other embodiments, a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene is operably linked to a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene to form a humanized Tmprss4 gene. In still other embodiments, a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene is operably linked to a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSSl ID gene to form a humanized Tmprsslld gene.

[0062] In some embodiments, a genetically modified rodent of this invention contains a humanized Tmprss gene in its genome, wherein the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein. The term "ectodomain" refers to the portion of a transmembrane protein that extends outside of the cell membrane, i.e., the extracellular portion of a transmembrane protein. The ectodomain of a TMPRSS molecule includes a protease domain and a stem region that links the transmembrane domain with the protease domain. By an ectodomain or polypeptide that is "substantially identical with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein", it is meant in some embodiments, a polypeptide that is at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 95%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein; in some embodiments, a polypeptide that differs from the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein by not more than 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 amino acid(s); in some embodiments, a polypeptide that differs from the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein only at the N- or C- terminus of the ectodomain, e.g., by lacking amino acids or having additional amino acids at the at the N- or C- terminus of the ectodomain; and in some embodiments, a polypeptide that is substantially the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein. By "substantially the ectodomain" of a human TMPRSS protein, it is meant a polypeptide that is identical with the ectodomain, or differs from the

ectodomain by lacking 1-5 (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4 or S) amino acids or having additional 1-5 amino acids at the N- or C-terminus.

[0063] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene encodes a humanized Tmprss protein that further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein. By a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion or polypeptide that is "substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein", it is meant in some embodiments, a polypeptide that is at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 95%, 99% or 100% identical in sequence with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein; in some embodiments, a polypeptide that differs from the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein by not more than 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 amino acid(s); in some embodiments, a polypeptide that differs from the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein only at the C- terminus, e.g., by lacking amino acids or having additional amino acids at the at the C- terminus of the transmembrane domain; and in some embodiments, a polypeptide composed of the cytoplasmic domain and substantially the transmembrane domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein. By "substantially the transmembrane domain" of an endogenous rodent Tmprss protein, it is meant a polypeptide that is identical with the transmembrane domain, or differs from the transmembrane domain by lacking 1-5 amino acids or having additional 1-5 amino acids at the C-terminus.

[0064] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene in the genome of a genetically modified rodent includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of the cognate human TMPRSS gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the human TMPRSS gene. In certain embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene in a humanized Tmprss gene encodes the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the human TMPRSS gene.

[0065] In some embodiments, the humanized Tmprss gene in the genome of a genetically modified rodent includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene and a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene, wherein the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene encodes a polypeptide substantially identical to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the rodent Tmprss gene. In specific embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene present in a humanized Tmprss gene encodes the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

[0066] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss gene results from a replacement of a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus with a nucleotide sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene.

[0067] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a rodent Tmprss gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus has been replaced with a contiguous genomic sequence of a cognate human TMPRSS gene to form a humanized Tmprss gene.

[0068] In specific embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS gene inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene includes exons, in full or in part, of a human TMPRSS gene, that encode an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein encoded by the human TMPRSS gene.

[0069] In certain embodiments, the genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene that remains at an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus after the humanization replacement and is operably linked to the inserted contiguous human TMPRSS genomic sequence encodes a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene.

[0070] In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprss protein and a human TMPRSS protein share common amino acids near the junction between the transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to insert a human TMPRSS genomic sequence that encodes precisely the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein. It is possible to insert a slightly longer or shorter genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS gene, which encodes substantially the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein, in operable linkage to a genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene that encodes the cytoplasmic domain and substantially the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein, such that the humanized Tmprss protein encoded by the resulting humanized Tmprss gene includes an ectodomain that is identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS protein and a transmembrane domain that is identical with the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein.

[0071] In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS gene included in a humanized Tmprss gene also includes the 3' untranslated region ("UTR") of the human TMPRSS gene. In certain embodiments, in addition to the 3' UTR of a human TMPRSS gene, a humanized Tmprss gene also includes an additional human genomic sequence from the human TMPRSS gene locus, following the human TMPRSS 3' UTR. The additional human genomic sequence can consist of at least 10-200 bp, e.g., SO bp, 75 bp, 100 bp, 125 bp, 150 bp, 175 bp, 200 bp, or more, found in the human TMPRSS gene locus immediately downstream of the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS gene. In other embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS gene present in a humanized Tmprss gene does not include a human 3' UTR; instead, the 3' UTR of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene is included and follows immediately the stop codon of the humanized Tmprss gene. For example, a humanized Tmprss gene can include a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss gene containing exon sequences encoding the cytoplasmic and

transmembrane domains of the endogenous rodent Tmprss protein, followed by a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS gene containing exon sequences encoding the ectodomain through the stop codon of the human TMPRSS protein, with the 3' UTR of the endogenous rodent Tmprss gene following immediately after the stop codon.

[0072] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss gene results in an expression of the encoded humanized Tmprss protein in a rodent. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss protein is expressed in a pattern comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprss gene). In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss protein is expressed at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprss gene). In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss protein is expressed and detected at the cell surface. In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss protein or a soluble form (e.g., a shed ectodomain form) is expressed and detected in serum of a rodent, e.g., at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss protein or a soluble form thereof in a control rodent. In the context of comparing a humanized gene or protein in a humanized rodent with an endogenous rodent gene or protein in a control rodent, the term "comparable" means that the molecules or levels being compared may not be identical to one another but are sufficiently similar to permit comparison there between so that conclusions may reasonably be drawn based on differences or similarities observed; and the term

"substantially the same" in referring to expression levels means that the levels being compared are not different from one another by more than 20%, 19%, 18%, 17%, 16%, 15%, 14%, 13%, 12%, 11%, 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, or 1%.

[0073] In some embodiments, the present invention further provides an isolated cell or tissue from a rodent animal as described herein. In some embodiments, a cell is selected from a dendritic cell, lymphocyte (e.g., a B or T cell), macrophage and a monocyte. In some embodiments, a tissue is selected from adipose, bladder, brain, breast, bone marrow, eye, heart, intestine, kidney, liver, lung, lymph node, muscle, pancreas, plasma, serum, skin, spleen, stomach, thymus, testis, ovum, and a combination thereof.

[0074] In some embodiments, the present invention provides a rodent embryonic stem cell whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss gene as described herein. In some embodiments, a rodent embryonic stem cell is a mouse embryonic stem cell. In other embodiments, a rodent embryonic stem cell is a rat embryonic stem cell. A rodent embryonic stem cell containing a humanized Tmprss gene in its genome can be used to make a humanized rodent animal, as further described herein below.

[0075] In some embodiments, a rodent provided herein is heterozygous for a humanized Tmprss gene in its genome. In other embodiments, a rodent provided herein is homozygous for a humanized Tmprss gene in its genome.

[0076] In certain embodiments, a rodent includes multiple, i.e., two or more, humanized Tmprss genes in its genome. In other words, two or more different endogenous Tmprss loci in a rodent have been humanized using nucleotide sequences of cognate human TMPRSS genes. For example, a rodent has been humanized at two or more of the gene loci selected from: Tmprss2, Tmprss4, and Tmprss lid.

[0077] Exemplary humanized Tmprss2 rodents (such as mice), humanized Tmprss4 rodents (such as mice), and humanized Tmprsslld rodents (such as mice) are further described below.

Humanized Tmprss2 Rodents

[0078] In some embodiments, this invention provides a rodent whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss2 gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene, and that is under control of a 5' regulatory elements), such as the promoter and/or enhancer(s), of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene. Examples of rodents include mice and rats.

[0079] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS2 protein.

[0080] In specific embodiments, the human TMPRSS2 protein has an amino acid sequence having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence as set form in SEQ ID NO: 4.

[0081] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein contains the C -terminal 387 amino acids of a human TMPRSS2 protein, for example, amino acids 106 to 492 of a human TMPRSS2 protein. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of W 106 to G492 of SEQ ID NO: 4. In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein contains an ectodomain having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence composed of Wl 06 to G492 of SEQ ID NO: 4; an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of W106 to G492 of SEQ ID NO: 4 by not more than 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 amino acid(s); or an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of W106 to G492 of SEQ ID NO: 4 only at the N- or C- terminus of the ectodomain, e.g., lacking 1-5 amino acids or having additional 1-5 amino acids at the at the N- or C- terminus.

[0082] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein. In some

embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein further includes the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein.

[0083] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein contains the

transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein, and the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS2 protein. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 7.

[0084] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene results from a replacement of a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 locus with a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene.

[0085] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 locus has been replaced with a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene to form a humanized Tmprss2 gene.

[0086] In specific embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a human

TMPRSS2 gene inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene includes exon sequences, i.e., exons in full or in part, of a human TMPRSS2 gene, that encode an ectodomain that is substantially identical to the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS2 gene. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprss2 protein and a human TMPRSS2 protein share common amino acids near the junction of the

transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to insert a human TMPRSS2 genomic sequence that encodes precisely the ectodomain of the human

TMPRSS2 protein, and it is possible to use a slightly longer or shorter human TMPRSS2 genomic sequence that encodes substantially the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS2 protein in order to make a humanized Tmprss2 protein having an ectodomain that is identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein.

[0087] In specific embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene contains at least coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene.

[0088] In certain embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene contains intron 3 and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS2 gene. In particular embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss 2 gene contains a 3' portion of coding exon 3, intron 3, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human

TMPRSS2 gene. In specific embodiments, the 3' portion of coding exon 3 of a human TMPRSS2 gene included in the humanization is about 5-10 base pair in length, i.e., about S, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 base pair of the 3' end of coding exon 3.

[0089] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS2 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene also contains the 3* UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene. In specific embodiments, the entire coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS2 gene is included in the contiguous human TMPRSS2 genomic sequence for humanization, which includes the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene. In particular embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human 1MPRSS2 gene includes an additional human genomic sequence downstream of the 3* UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene. The additional human genomic sequence can be a sequence of at least 10-200 bp, or at least 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, or 200 bp, that is found immediately downstream of the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS2 gene at a human TMPRSS2 locus.

[0090] In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene remaining at a humanized Tmprss2 locus encodes a polypeptide that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprss2 protein and a human TMPRSS2 protein share common amino acids near the junction of the transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to maintain the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 genomic sequence that encodes precisely the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein, and it is possible to maintain a slightly longer or shorter rodent Tmprss2 genomic sequence that encodes substantially the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein in the humanization replacement in order to encode a humanized Tmprss2 protein having a transmembrane domain that is identical with the transmembrane of the endogenous rodent Tmprss2 protein. In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene remaining at a humanized Tmprss2 locus includes exons 1-2 and a 5* portion of coding exon 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, wherein the 5' portion of coding exon 3 is a substantial portion of codon exon 3, e.g., the entire coding exon 3 except 5-10 base pairs at the 3' end of coding exon 3.

[0091] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene contains coding exons 1-2 and a 5' portion of coding exon 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and a 3' portion of coding exon 3 and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS2 gene, wherein the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein that contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the rodent Tmprss2 protein, and an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein. In certain embodiments, the humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein mat contains the cytoplasmic domain and the transmembrane domain of the rodent Tmprss2 protein encoded by an endogenous rodent Tmprss2 gene, and the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS2 protein encoded by a human TMPRSS2 gene. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss2 protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 7.

[0092] In some embodiments, the exons and introns of a human TMPRSS2 gene and a rodent Tmprss2 gene used in the hurnanization are those found in SEQ ID NOS: 1, 3 and 5- 6.

[0093] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 gene results in an expression of the encoded humanized Tmprss2 protein in a rodent. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein is expressed in a pattern comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss2 protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprss2 gene). In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein is expressed at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss2 protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprss2 gene). In certain

embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein is expressed and detected at the cell surface. In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss2 protein or a soluble form (e.g., a shed ectodomain form) is expressed and detected in serum of a rodent, e.g., at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss2 protein or a soluble form thereof in a control rodent.

Humanized Tmprss4 Rodents

[0094] In some embodiments, this invention provides a rodent whose genome contains a humanized Tmprss4 gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene, and that is under control of a 5' regulatory elements), such as the promoter and/or an enhancer(s), of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene. Examples of rodents include mice and rats.

[0095] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss4 protein that contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS4 protein. In specific embodiments, the human TM PRSS4 protein has an amino acid sequence having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 11. [0096] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein contains the C-teraiinal 384 amino acids of a human TMPRSS4 protein, for example, amino acids 54 to 437 of a human TMPRSS4 protein. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of K54 to L437 of SEQ ID NO: 11. In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein contains an ectodomain having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence composed of K54 to L437 of SEQ ID NO: 11 ; an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of K54 to L437 of SEQ ID NO: 11 by not more than 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 amino acid(s); or an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of K54 to L437 of SEQ ID NO: 11 only at the N- or C- terminus of the ectodomain, e.g., lacking 1-5 amino acids or having additional 1-5 amino acids at the N- or C- terminus.

[0097] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein. In some

embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein further includes the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein.

[0098] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein contains the

transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein, and the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS4 protein. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss4 protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 14.

[0099] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene results from a replacement of a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 locus with a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene.

[00100] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 locus has been replaced with a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene to form a humanized Tmprss4 gene. [00101] In specific embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a human

TMPRSS4 gene insetted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene includes exon sequences, i.e., exons in full or in part, of a human TMPRSS4 gene that encode an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS4 protein encoded by the human TMPRSS4 gene. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprss4 protein and a human TMPRSS4 protein share common amino acids near the junction of the

transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to insert a human TMPRSS4 genomic sequence that encodes precisely the ectodomain of the human

TMPRSS4 protein, and it is possible to use a slightly longer or shorter human TMPRSS4 genomic sequence that encodes substantially the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS4 protein in order to make a humanized Tmprss4 protein having an ectodomain that is identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS4 protein.

[00102] In specific embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene contains at least coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the human TMPRSS4 gene.

[00103] In certain embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene includes a 3' portion of intron 3, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene. In specific embodiments, the 3' portion of intron 3 of a human TMPRSS4 gene included in the humanization is about 140-160 base pair in length, i.e., about 140, 14S, ISO, 1SS, 160 base pair of the 3' end of intron 3.

[00104] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene contains the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS4 gene. In specific embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS4 gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene does not contain the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS4 gene, and the 3' UTR of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene follows immediately after the stop codon in the humanized Tmprss4 gene..

[00105] In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene remaining at a humanized Tmprss4 locus encodes a polypeptide that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprss4 protein and a human TMPRSS4 protein share common amino acids near the junction of the transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to maintain the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 genomic sequence that encodes precisely the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein, and it is possible to maintain a slightly longer or shorter rodent Tmprss4 genomic sequence that encodes substantially the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein in the humanization replacement in order to encode a humanized Tmprss4 protein having a transmembrane domain that is identical with the transmembrane of the endogenous rodent Tmprss4 protein.

[00106] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene contains coding exons 1-3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon of coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene contains coding exons 1-3 and a 5' portion of intron 3 of an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and a 3' portion of intron 3 and coding exon 4 through the stop codon of coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene. In certain embodiments, the humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss4 protein that contains the cytoplasmic domain and the transmembrane domain of the rodent Tmprss4 protein encoded by an endogenous rodent Tmprss4 gene, and the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS4 protein encoded by a human TMPRSS4 gene. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene encodes a humanized Tmprss4 protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 14.

[00107] In some embodiments, the exons and introns of a human TMPRSS4 gene and a rodent Tmprss4 gene used in the humanization are those found in SEQ ID NOS: 8, 10 and 12-13.

[00108] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 gene results in an expression of the encoded humanized Tmprss4 protein in a rodent. In some embodiments, a humanized

Tmprss4 protein is expressed in a pattern comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss4 protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized

Tmprss4 gene encoding the humanized Tmprss4 protein). In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein is expressed at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss4 protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprss4 gene encoding the humanized Tmprss4 protein). In certain

embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein is expressed and detected at the cell surface. In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss4 protein or a soluble form (e.g., a shed ectodomain form) is expressed and detected in serum of a rodent, e.g., at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss4 protein or a soluble form thereof in a control rodent.

Humanized Tmprsslld Rodents

[00109] In some embodiments, this invention provides a rodent whose genome contains a humanized Tmprsslld gene that includes a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene and a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS1 ID gene, and that is under control of a 5' regulatory elements), such as the promoter and/or enhancer(s) of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene. Examples of rodents include mice and rats.

[00110] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprssl Id protein that contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS1 ID protein.

[00111] In specific embodiments, the human TMPRSS1 ID protein has an amino acid sequence having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 18.

[00112] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss lid protein contains the C -terminal 377 amino acids of a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein, for example, amino acids 42 to 418 of a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl Id protein contains an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the amino acid sequence composed of A42 to 1418 of SEQ ID NO: 18. In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl Id protein contains an ectodomain having at least 85%, 90%, 95%, 98%, 99% or 100% identity with the amino acid sequence composed of A42 to 1418 of SEQ ID NO: 18; an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of A42 to 1418 of SEQ ID NO: 18 by not more than 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 amino acid(s); or an ectodomain that differs from the amino acid sequence composed of A42 to 1418 of SEQ ID NO: 18 only at the N- or C- terminus, e.g., by lacking 1-5 amino acids or having additional 1-5 amino acids at the N- or C- terminus.

[00113] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss lid protein further contains a cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion mat is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of an endogenous rodent Tmprss l id protein. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprss 1 Id protein includes the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss 1 Id protein.

[00114] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprss 1 Id protein contains the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic domain of an endogenous rodent Tmprss 1 Id protein, and the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS 11 D protein. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprss 1 Id protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 21.

[00115] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprsslld gene results from a replacement of a nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld locus with a nucleotide sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene.

[00116] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene at an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld locus has been replaced with a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene to form a humanized

Tmprsslld gene. In specific embodiments, the contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene includes exon sequences, i.e., exons in full or in part, of a human TMPRSS11D gene that encode an ectodomain that is substantially identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS 1 ID protein encoded by the human TMPRSS11D gene. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprssl Id protein and a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein share common amino acids near the junction of the transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to insert a human TMPRSS11D genomic sequence that encodes precisely the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS 1 ID protein, and it is possible to use a slightly longer or shorter human TMPRSS 1 ID genomic sequence that encodes substantially the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS11D protein in order to make a humanized Tmprssl Id protein having an ectodomain that is identical with the ectodomain of the human TMPRSS 1 ID protein.

[00117] In specific embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human

TMPRSS11D gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene contains at least coding exon 3 through the stop codon in coding exon 10 of a human TMPRSS 1 ID gene.

[00118] In certain embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human

TMPRSS11D gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene contains at least a 3' portion of intron 2 and coding exon 3 through the stop codon in coding exon 10 of the human TMPRSS11D gene. In specific embodiments, the 3' portion of intron 2 of a human TMPRSS2 gene included in the humanization is about 444 base pairs in length.

[00119] In some embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSS11D gene being inserted into an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene contains the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSS11D gene. In specific embodiments, the entire coding exon 10 of a human TMPRSS11D gene is included in the contiguous human TMPRSS1 ID genomic sequence for humanization, which includes the 3' UTR of a human TMPRSS1 ID gene. In particular embodiments, a contiguous genomic sequence of a human TMPRSSllD gene includes an additional human genomic sequence downstream of the 3' UTR of the human TMPRSSllD gene. The additional human genomic sequence can be a sequence of 10-200 bp, 50-200 bp, or about ISO, 160, 170, 180 bp, that is found immediately downstream of the 3* UTR of the human TMPRSSllD gene at a human TMPRSSllD locus.

[00120] In some embodiments, the nucleotide sequence of an endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene remaining at a humanized Tmprssl Id locus encodes a polypeptide that is substantially identical with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane portion of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein encoded by the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id gene. In circumstances where an endogenous Tmprssl Id protein and a human TMPRSS 1 ID protein share common amino acids near the junction of the transmembrane domain and the ectodomain, it may not be necessary to maintain the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id genomic sequence that encodes precisely the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein, and it is possible to maintain a slightly longer or shorter rodent

Tmprsslld genomic sequence that encodes substantially the transmembrane domain of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein in the humanization replacement in order to encode a humanized Tmprssl Id protein having a transmembrane domain that is identical with the transmembrane of the endogenous rodent Tmprssl Id protein.

[00121] In specific embodiments, a humanized Tmprsslld gene contains coding exons 1- 2 of an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene, and coding exon 3 through coding exon 10 of a human TMPRSS11D gene. In certain embodiments, the humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprssl Id protein mat contains the cytoplasmic domain and the transmembrane domain of the rodent Tmprssl Id protein encoded by an endogenous rodent Tmprsslld gene, and the ectodomain of the human TMPRSSl ID protein encoded by a human TMPRSSl ID gene. In particular embodiments, a humanized Tmprsslld gene encodes a humanized Tmprssl Id protein having the amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 21.

[00122] In some embodiments, the exons and introns of a human TMPRSSl ID gene and a rodent Tmprsslld gene used in the humanization are those found in SEQ ID NOS: IS, 17 and 19-20.

[00123] In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl ID gene results in an expression of the encoded humanized Tmprssl Id protein in a rodent. In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl Id protein is expressed in a pattern comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprssl Id protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprsslld gene encoding the humanized Tmprssl Id protein). In some embodiments, a humanized Tmprssl Id protein is expressed at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprss lid protein in a control rodent (e.g., a rodent without the humanized Tmprsslld gene encoding the humanized Tmprssl Id protein). In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss lid protein is expressed and detected at the cell surface. In certain embodiments, a humanized Tmprss l id protein or a soluble form (e.g., a shed ectodomain form) is expressed and detected in serum of a rodent, e.g., at a level comparable with, or substantially the same as, a counterpart rodent Tmprssl Id protein or a soluble form thereof in a control rodent. Methods of Making Humanized Tmprss Rodent Animals

[00124] Further aspects of this disclosure are directed to methods for making a humanized Tmprss rodent described above, as well as nucleic acid vectors and non-human embryonic stem cells suitable for use in making a humanized Tmprss rodent.

[00125] The rodents provided herein can be made using methods known in the art. In exemplary embodiments, a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone carrying a rodent Tmprss gene can be modified using bacterial homologous recombination and

VELOCIGENE® technology (see, e.g., U.S. 6,586,251 and Valenzuela et al. (2003), High- throughput engineering of the mouse genome coupled with high-resolution expression analysis, Nature Biotech. 21(6):652-659). As a result, a rodent Tmprss nucleotide sequence has been deleted from the original BAC clone, and a human Tmprss nucleotide sequence has been inserted, resulting in a modified BAC clone carrying a humanized Tmprss gene, flanked with 5' and 3' rodent homology arms. The modified BAC clone, once linearized, can be introduced into rodent embryonic stem (ES) by, e.g., electroporation. Both mouse ES cells and rat ES cells have been described in the art. See, e.g., US 7,576,259, US 7,659,442, US 7,294,754, and US 2008-0078000 Al (all of which are incorporated herein by reference) describe mouse ES cells and the VELOCIMOUSE® method for making a genetically modified mouse; US 2014/0235933 Al, US 2014/0310828 Al, Tong et al. (2010) Nature 467:211-215, and Tong et al. (2011) Nat Protoc. 6(6): doi: 10.1038/nprot.2011.338 (all of which are incorporated herein by reference) describe rat ES cells and methods for making a genetically modified rat.

[00126] ES cells having a humanized Tmprss gene integrated in the genome can be selected. In some embodiments, ES cells having a humanized Tmprss integrated into an endogenous rodent Tmprss locus can be selected based on loss of rodent allele and/or gain of human allele assays. Selected ES cells are then used as donor ES cells for injection into a pre-morula stage embryo (e.g., 8-cell stage embryo) by using the VELOCIMOUSE® method (see, e.g., US 7,576,259, US 7,659,442, US 7,294,754, and US 2008-0078000 Al), or methods described in US 2014/0235933 Al and US 2014/0310828 Al. The embryo comprising the donor ES cells is incubated until blastocyst stage and then implanted into a surrogate mother to produce an F0 rodent fully derived from the donor ES cells. Rodent pups bearing the humanized Tmprss gene can be identified by genotyping of DNA isolated from tail snips using loss of rodent allele and/or gain of human allele assays.

[00127] Rodents heterozygous for a humanized Tmprss gene can be crossed to generated homozygous rodents. Rodents containing one humanized Tmprss gene can be crossed with rodents containing another humanized Tmprss gene to make rodents containing multiple humanized Tmprss genes. For example, rodents containing a humanized Tmprss2 gene can be crossed with rodents containing a humanized Tmprss4 gene to make rodents containing a humanized Tmprss2 gene and a humanized Tmprss4 gene.

Methods Employing Rodents Having Humanized Tmprss Genes

[00128] Rodents disclosed herein provide a useful in vivo system and source of biological materials (e.g., cells) expressing humanized Tmprss proteins for identifying and testing compounds that specifically target human TMPRSS proteins.

[00129] In one aspect, a rodent disclosed herein is used to determine the ability of a candidate compound, such as an inhibitor of a human TMPRSS protein, to treat and/or prevent influenza virus infection.

[00130] In some embodiments, a rodent containing a humanized Tmprss gene and expressing a humanized Tmprss protein disclosed herein is administered with a candidate compound prior to experimental influenza virus infection. The prophylactic efficacy of the compound can be evaluated by determining whether the rodent exhibits fewer and/or less severe symptoms of influenza virus infection, and/or improved viability, as compared to control rodent(s).

[00131] In other embodiments, a rodent containing a humanized Tmprss gene and expressing a humanized Tmprss protein comprising the ectodomain of a human TMPRSS protein is administered with a candidate inhibitor of that human TMPRSS protein after experimental influenza virus infection. The treatment efficacy of the candidate inhibitor can be evaluated by determining whether the rodent exhibits fewer and/or less severe symptoms of influenza virus infection, and/or improved viability, as compared to control rodent(s).

[00132] Suitable control rodents include, e.g., rodents containing a humanized Tmprss gene without being subjected to the experimental infection; and rodents containing a humanized Tmprss gene subjected to the experimental infection without any compound; and rodents containing a humanized Tmprss gene subjected to the experimental infection and a compound known to be therapeutically effective.

[00133] Compounds that can be evaluated in the methods of this invention include candidate TMPRSS inhibitors, for example, a small molecule protease inhibitor, a nucleic acid-based inhibitor (e.g., siRNA, ribozyme, antisense construct, etc.), antigen-binding protein (e.g., antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof), or a blocking peptide/peptide inhibitor. A TMPRSS inhibitor may function by inhibiting or reducing the ability of a TMPRSS protein to proteolytically cleave hemagglutinin precursor protein (HAO) into the HA1 and HA2 subunits.

[00134] In some embodiments, a candidate inhibitor is an antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof. Both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies are suitable for purposes of this invention. In specific embodiments, the antibody specifically binds to a TMPRSS protein and inhibits the protease activity of that TMPRSS protein and does not substantially inhibit the protease activity of another TMPRSS protein. For example, an anti-TMPRSS2 antibody inhibitor specifically binds to a TMPRSS2 protein and inhibits the protease activity of the TMPRSS2 protein, and has no effect on the proteolytic activity of TMPRSS4 or TMPRSS1 ID, or reduces the proteolytic activity of TMPRSS4 or TMPRSSl ID by no more than 25% (e.g., by 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, or less) relative to a non-inhibitory control molecule tested under identical or substantially identical experimental conditions.

[00135] In some embodiments, the inhibitor is an anti-TMPRSS2 antibody or antigen- binding fragment thereof. In some embodiments, the inhibitor is an anti-TMPRSS4 antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof. In other embodiments, the inhibitor is an anti-TMPRSS 1 ID antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof.

[00136] Experimental influenza virus infection can be induced and monitored following known protocols. See, e.g., US 2013/0273070 Al . For example, rodent animals can be administered intranasally with influenza virus. The infected animals can be evaluated to determine the symptoms and severity of the infection. For example, the animals can be analyzed for (I) weight change and survival, (2) cellular changes via flow cytometry, (3) immunochemistry, PAS and H&E staining of whole lungs, and (4) cytokine levels in serum. Control animals known to be susceptible to the virus exhibit a significant increase in the frequency of dendritic cells, the levels influenza-positive alveolar macrophages, neutrophils or epithelial cells in the lungs, and the levels of IFNy, as compared to uninfected animals.

EXAMPLES

[00137] The following examples are provided so as to describe to those of ordinary skill in the art how to make and use methods and compositions of the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of what the inventors regard as their invention. Unless indicated otherwise, temperature is indicated in Celsius, and pressure is at or near atmospheric.

Example 1. Humanization of an endogenous Tmprss2 gene.

[00138] This example illustrates exemplary methods of humanizing an endogenous gene encoding Tmprss2 in a rodent (e.g., a mouse). The methods described in this example can be employed to humanize an endogenous Tmprss2 gene of a rodent using any human sequence, or combination of human sequences (or sequence fragments) as desired.

[00139] A targeting vector for humanization of an endogenous Tmprss2 gene was constructed using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones and VELOCIGENE® technology (see, e.g., U.S. Patent No. 6,586,251 and Valenzuela et al. (2003) High- throughput engineering of the mouse genome coupled with high-resolution expression analysis, Nature Biotech. 21(6):652-659; incorporated herein by reference).

[00140] Briefly, mouse bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone bMQ-264A15 containing a mouse Tmprss2 gene was used and modified as follows. A DNA fragment was generated to include a 5' mouse homology nucleotide sequence, a human TMPRSS2 genomic

DNA of about 25,091 bp (containing the last 7 bp of coding exon 3, intron 3, and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 (including the 3' UTR which is part of coding exon 13), of a human TMPRSS2 gene), a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 2,691 bp, and a 3' mouse homology sequence. This DNA fragment was used to modify BAC clone bMQ-264A15 through homologous recombination in bacterial cells. As a result, an ectodomain-encoding mouse Tmprss2 genomic fragment (of about 25,291 bp) in the BAC clone was replaced with the human TMPRSS2 genomic fragment of about 25,091 bp, followed by a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 2691 bp. Specifically, the mouse Tmprss2 genomic fragment that was replaced included the last 7 bp of coding exon 3, intron 3, and coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the mouse Tmprss2 gene (Figures 1 A- IB). The human TMPRSS2 genomic fragment that was inserted included the last 7 bp of coding exon 3, intron 3, and coding exon 4 through coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS2 gene

(including the 3' UTR of human TMPRSS2), and a human 3' genomic sequence of 131 bp downstream of the 3' UTR of human TMPRSS2 (Figures 1A-1B). The resulting modified BAC clone included, from 5' to 3', (i) a 5' mouse homology arm containing about 12 kb of mouse genomic DNA including a mouse Tmprss2 5' UTR, mouse Tmprss2 exon 1 (non- coding), coding exons 1-3 (except the last 7 bp of coding exon 3); (ii) a human TMPRSS2 genomic fragment of about 25,091 bp including the last 7 bp of human coding exon 3, intron 3, human coding exons 4 through 13 (including the 3' UTR of human TMPRSS2), and a human 3' genomic sequence; (iii) a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 2691 bp, followed by (iv) a 3' mouse homology arm of 45 kb containing the mouse Tmprss23 'UTR and the remaining mouse genomic DNA in the original BAC clone. See Figures 1 A-1B. The junction sequences are also set forth at the bottom of Figure 1 B. The part of the modified BAC clone containing the human TMPRSS2 genomic fragment and the neomycin cassette, as well as the upstream and downstream insertion junctions, is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 5. The amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the humanized Tmprss2 gene is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 7. An alignment of this humanized Tmprss2 protein ("7010 mutant protein"), a mouse Tmprss2 protein (SEQ ID NO: 2), and a human TMPRSS2 protein (SEQ ID NO: 4), is provided in Figure ID.

[00141] The modified BAC clone containing the humanized Tmprss2 gene, as described above, was used to electroporate mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to create modified ES cells comprising a humanized Tmprss2 gene. Positively targeted ES cells containing a humanized Tmprss2 gene were identified by an assay (Valenzuela et ah, supra) that detected the presence of the human TMPRSS2 sequences (e.g., coding exons 4-13 of human

TMPRSS2) and confirmed the loss and/or retention of mouse Tmprss2 sequences (e.g., loss of coding exons 4-13 of mouse Tmprss2). Table 1 sets forth the primers and probes that were used to confirm humanization of an endogenous Tmprss2 gene as described above (Figures 1 A- IB). Once a correctly targeted ES cell clone has been selected, the neomycin selection cassette can be excised by introducing a Cre recombinase, e.g., via electroporation. Alternatively, the neomycin selection cassette can be removed by crossing the progeny generated from the ES clone with a deleter rodent strain that expresses a Cre recombinase. The humanized Tmprss2 locus after the deletion of the cassette is depicted in Figure 1C, with the junction sequences shown at the bottom of Figure 1C.

[00142] Selected ES cell clones (with or without the cassette) were used to implant female mice using the VELOCIMOUSE® method (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 734,754 and Poueymirou et al, F0 generation mice that are essentially fully derived from the donor gene- targeted ES cells allowing immediate phenotypic analyses, 2007, Nature Biotech. 25(1):91- 99) to generate a litter of pups containing a humanized Tmprss2 allele in the genome. Mice bearing a humanized Tmprss2 allele can be again confirmed and identified by genotyping of DNA isolated from tail snips using a modification of allele assay (Valenzuela et al, supra) that detects the presence of the human TMPRSS2 gene sequences. Pups are genotyped and cohorts of animals heterozygous for the humanized Tmprss2 locus are selected for characterization. Animals homozygous for the humanized Tmprss2 locus are made by crossing heterozygous animals.

Example 2. Humanization of an endogenous Tmprss4 gene.

[00143] This example illustrates exemplary methods of humanizing an endogenous gene encoding Tmprss4 in a rodent (e.g., a mouse). The methods described in this example can be employed to humanize an endogenous Tmprss4 gene of a rodent using any human sequence, or combination of human sequences (or sequence fragments) as desired.

[00144] A targeting vector for humanization of an endogenous Tmprss4 gene was constructed using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones and VELOCIGENE® technology (see, e.g., U.S. Patent No. 6,586,251 and Valenzuela et al. (2003), supra).

[00145] Briefly, mouse bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone RP23-71 Ml 5 containing a mouse Tmprss4 gene was used and modified as follows. A DNA fragment was generated to include a 5' mouse homology nucleotide sequence, a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4,996 bp, a human genomic DNA of about 14,963 bp (containing coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of a human TMPRSS4 gene), and a 3' mouse homology sequence. This DNA fragment was used to modify BAC clone RP23-

71M15 through homologous recombination in bacterial cells. As a result, an ectodomain- encoding mouse genomic fragment (of about 11,074 bp) in the BAC clone was replaced with a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4,996 bp, followed by the human genomic

DNA of about 14,963 bp. Specifically, the mouse genomic fragment mat was deleted and replaced included the 3' 130 bp of mouse intron 3, coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 of the mouse Tmprss4 gene (Figures 2A-2B). The human genomic fragment that was inserted included a 3' portion of human TMPRSS4 intron 3 of about 150 bp, and human TMPRSS4 coding exon 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13 (Figures 2A-2B).

The resulting modified BAC clone included, from 5* to 3', a 5' mouse homology arm containing about 44.8 kb of mouse genomic DNA (including a mouse Tmprss4 5' UTR, mouse Tmprss4 coding exons 1 through 3, mouse Tmprss4 intron 3 in part (without the 3'

130 bp), a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4996 bp, a 3' portion of human

TMPRSS4 intron 3 of about 150 bp, human TMPRSS4 coding exons 4 through the stop codon in coding exon 13, followed directly by the mouse Tmprss4 3' UTR and the remaining mouse genomic DNA in the original BAC clone (a 3' mouse homology arm of about 118 kb in total). See Figures 2A-2B. The junction sequences are also set forth at the bottom of Figure 2B. The part of the modified BAC clone containing the neomycin cassette and the human TMPRSS4 genomic fragment, as well as the upstream and downstream insertion junctions, is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 12. The amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the humanized Tmprss4 gene is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 14. An alignment of this humanized Tmprss4 protein ("7224 mutant pro"), a mouse Tmprss4 protein (SEQ ID NO: 9), and a human TMPRSS4 protein (SEQ ID NO: 11), is provided in Figure 2D.

[00146] The modified BAC clone containing the humanized Tmprss4 gene, as described above, was used to electroporate mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to create modified ES cells comprising a humanized Tmprss4 gene. Positively targeted ES cells containing a humanized Tmprss4 gene were identified by an assay (Valenzuela et ah, supra) that detected the presence of the human TMPRSS4 sequences (e.g., coding exons 4-13 of human

TMPRSS4) and confirmed the loss and/or retention of mouse Tmprss4 sequences (e.g., loss of coding exons 4-13 of mouse Tmprss4). Table 2 sets forth the primers and probes that were used to confirm humanization of an endogenous Tmprss4 gene as described above (Figures 2A-2B). Once a correctly targeted ES cell clone has been selected, the neomycin selection cassette can be excised by introducing a Cre recombinase, e.g., via electroporation. Alternatively, the neomycin selection cassette can be removed by crossing the progeny generated from the ES clone with a deleter rodent strain that expresses a Cre recombinase. The humanized Tmprss4 locus after the deletion of the cassette is depicted in Figure 2C, with the junction sequences shown at the bottom of Figure 2C.

[00147] Selected ES cell clones (with or without the cassette) were used to implant female mice using the VELOCIMOUSE® method (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 7,294,754 and Poueymirou et al. (2007), supra) to generate a litter of pups containing a humanized

Tmprss4 allele in the genome. Mice bearing a humanized Tmprss4 allele were again confirmed and identified by genotyping of DNA isolated from tail snips using a

modification of allele assay (Valenzuela et ah, supra) that detected the presence of the human TMPRSS4 gene sequences. Pups were genotyped and cohorts of animals

heterozygous for the humanized Tmprss4 locus were selected for characterization. Animals homozygous for the humanized Tmprss4 locus were made by crossing heterozygous animals.

Example 3. Humanization of an endogenous Tmprsslld gene.

[00148] This example illustrates exemplary methods of humanizing an endogenous gene encoding Tmprssl Id in a rodent (e.g., a mouse). The methods described in this example can be employed to humanize an endogenous Tmprsslld gene of a rodent using any human sequence, or combination of human sequences (or sequence fragments) as desired. [00149] A targeting vector for humanization of an endogenous Tmprsslld gene was constructed using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones and VELOCIGENE® technology (see, e.g., U.S. Patent No. 6,586,251 and Valenzuela et al. (2003), supra).

[00150] Briefly, mouse bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone RP23-95N22 containing a mouse Tmprsslld gene was used and modified as follows. A DNA fragment was generated to include a 5' mouse homology nucleotide sequence, a human TMPRSS1 ID genomic DNA of about 33,927 bp (containing 444 bp at the 3' end of intron 2, and coding exon 3 through coding exon 10 (including the 3' UTR which is part of coding exon 10), of a human TMPRSS11D gene), a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4,996 bp, and a 3' mouse homology sequence. This DNA fragment was used to modify BAC clone RP23- 95N22 through homologous recombination in bacterial cells. As a result, an ectodomain- encoding mouse Tmprsslld genomic fragment (of about 35,667 bp) in the BAC clone was replaced with the human TMPRSS1 ID genomic fragment of about 33,927 bp, followed by a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4,996 bp. Specifically, the mouse Tmprsslld genomic fragment that was replaced included a 3' portion of intron 2, and coding exon 3 through the stop codon in coding exon 10 of the mouse Tmprsslld gene (Figures 3A-3B). The human TMPRSS11D genomic fragment that was inserted included 444 bp at the 3' end of intron 2, and coding exon 3 through coding exon 10 of a human TMPRSS11D gene (including the 3' UTR of human TMPRSS11D), and a human 3' genomic sequence of about 172 bp downstream of the 3' UTR of human TMPRSS11D (Figures 3A-3B). The resulting modified BAC clone included, from 5' to 3', (i) a 5' mouse homology arm containing about 143 kb of mouse genomic DNA including a mouse Tmprsslld 5' UTR, mouse Tmprsslld coding exons 1-2 and a 5' portion of intron 2; (ii) a human TMPRSS11D genomic fragment including a 3' portion of intron 2 and coding exons 3 through 10 (including the 3' UTR) of human TMPRSSllD, and a human 3* genomic sequence; (iii) a self-deleting neomycin cassette of about 4,996 bp, followed by (iv) a 3' mouse homology arm of 10 kb containing the mouse Tmprsslld 3 'UTR and the remaining mouse genomic DNA in the original BAC clone. See Figures 3 A-3B. The junction sequences are also set forth at the bottom of Figure 3B. The part of the modified BAC clone containing the human TMPRSSllD genomic fragment and the neomycin cassette, as well as the upstream and downstream insertion junctions, is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 19. The amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the humanized Tmprsslld gene is set forth in SEQ ID NO: 21. An alignment of this humanized Tmprssl Id protein ("7226 mutant pro"), a mouse Tmprssl Id protein (SEQ ID NO: 16), and a human TMPRSSl ID protein (SEQ ID NO: 18), is provided in Figure 3D.

[00151] The modified BAC clone containing the humanized Tmprsslld gene, as described above, is used to electroporate mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to create modified ES cells comprising a humanized Tmprsslld gene. Positively targeted ES cells containing a humanized Tmprsslld gene are identified by an assay (Valenzuela et al., supra) that detects the presence of the human TMPRSSl ID sequences (e.g., coding exons 3- 10 of human TMPRSSl ID) and confirms the loss and/or retention of mouse Tmprsslld sequences (e.g., loss of coding exons 3-10 of mouse Tmprsslld). Table 3 sets forth the primers and probes that were used to confirm humanization of an endogenous Tmprsslld gene as described above (Figures 3A-3B). Once a correctly targeted ES cell clone has been selected, the neomycin selection cassette can be excised by introducing a Cre recombinase, e.g., via electroporation. Alternatively, the neomycin selection cassette can be removed by crossing the progeny generated from the ES clone with a deleter rodent strain that expresses a Cre recombinase. The humanized Tmprsslld locus after the deletion of the cassette is depicted in Figure 3C, with the junction sequences shown at the bottom of Figure 3C.

[00152] Selected ES cell clones (with or without the cassette) are used to implant female mice using the VELOCIMOUSE® method (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 7,294,754 and

Poueymirou et al. (2007), supra) to generate a litter of pups containing a humanized Tmprssl Id allele in the genome. Mice bearing a humanized Tmprsslld allele are again confirmed and identified by genotyping of DNA isolated from tail snips using a

modification of allele assay (Valenzuela et al, supra) that detects the presence of the human TMPRSSl ID gene sequences. Pups are genotyped and cohorts of animals heterozygous for the humanized Tmprsslld locus are selected for characterization. Animals homozygous for the humanized Tmprsslld locus are made by crossing heterozygous animals. TABLE 3

Name Primer Sequence (5'-3') SEQ ID NO

7226mTU Forward TCCTCTCCAGACAAGAAAGCT (SEQ ID NO: 61)

Probe (BHQ) TCATAGCAGCTTTCAAATCCTAAACGT (SEQ ID NO: 62)

TGA

Reverse TCGTGTGTAGCTGGTGAGTT (SEQ ID NO: 63)

7226mTD Forward CATGCGATCACAGGAGGAGATC (SEQ ID NO: 64)

Probe (BHQ) AATTGGGCCCGAAGCCAGATGC (SEQ ID NO: 65)

Reverse CGGAAGGCTTCTGTGACTTC (SEQ ID NO: 66)

7226hTU Forward GTCTCCCACTTCTGACATAATGAAC (SEQ ID NO: 67)

Probe (BHQ) CCCAGTGTTAACCCTACATCTGGTTCC (SEQ ID NO: 68)

Reverse TGGGAAGAGACTCTTGGACA (SEQ ID NO: 69)

7226hTD Forward ATGAGCTCCTAGTACAGCTAAAGTT (SEQ ID NO: 70)

Probe (MGB) ATGCATGATCATCTATGCGTCAGAGC (SEQ ID NO: 71) Reverse TGCCCAGATGCAGGGAGTTAG (SEQ ID NO: 72)

Example 4. Evaluation of group 1 and group 2 influenza A viruses in MAID7225 Humln vs. wild-type Tmprss4 mice

[00153] To validate the use of humanized Tmprss rodents as an animal model of infection, experiments were conducted to evaluate the survival of MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 mice versus wild-type (WT) littermates in an influenza A group 1 and group 2 model of severe influenza infection.

[00154] MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 mice are homozygous for a humanized Tmprss4 gene in its genome and were generated as described in Example 2. The viral strains used in these studies included the historical A/Puerto Rico/08/1934 (H1N1) influenza A virus group 1 isolate and an in-house mouse-adapted A/Aichi/02/1968 (HA, NA) X-31 (H3N2) influenza A vims group 2 isolate. All experiments were performed in 6-8 week-old male and female MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 mice or WT littermates. Mice were challenged with 1150 plaque-forming units (PFUs) of A/Puerto Rico/08/1934 (H1N1) or 10,000 PFUs of A/Aichi/02/1968-X31 (H3N2). In these survival models, mice were challenged intranasally (IN) on day 0 post-infection (p.i.). Mice were weighed and observed daily up to day 14 p.i. and were sacrificed when they lost 20% of their starting weight. Results are reported as percent survival (Table 4).

[00155] The survival of MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 mice was compared to WT littermates after challenge with both severe Influenza A group 1 virus [A/Puerto

Rico/08/1934 (H1N1)] and a severe, mouse-adapted Influenza A group 2 virus

[A/Aichi/02/1968-X31 (H3N2)] (Figure 4). Survival of MAID7225 Humln TMPRSS4 mice was no different from wild-type mice with either the H1N1 challenge (25%; n=8 and 20%; n=10, respectively) or the H3N2 challenge (25%; n=8 and 11.1%; n=9, respectively).

[00156] The publications, websites and other reference materials referenced herein to describe the background of the invention and to provide additional detail regarding its practice are hereby incorporated by reference.