Regen Med 2008 Mar;3(2):217-35
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Institute of Toxicology/Mouse Genetics, Obere Zahlbacher Str. 67,55131, Mainz, Germany.
Many mouse models are currently available, providing avenues to elucidate gene function and to recapitulate specific pathological conditions. To a large extent, successful translation of clinical evidence or analytical data into appropriate mouse models is possible through progress in transgenic or gene-targeting technology. Beginning with a review of standard mouse transgenics and conventional gene targeting, this article will move on to discussing the basics of conditional gene expression: the tetracycline (tet)-off and tet-on systems based on the transactivators tet-controlled transactivator (Tta) and reverse tet-on transactivator (rtTA) that allow downregulation or induction of gene expression; Cre or Flp recombinase-mediated modifications, including excision, inversion, insertion and interchromosomal translocation; combination of the tet and Cre systems, permitting inducible knockout, reporter gene activation or activation of point mutations; the avian retroviral system based on delivery of rtTA specifically into cells expressing the avian retroviral receptor, which enables cell type-specific, inducible gene expression; the tamoxifen system, one of the most frequently applied steroid receptor-based systems, allows rapid activation of a fusion protein between the gene of interest and a mutant domain of the estrogen receptor, whereby activation does not depend on transcription; and techniques for cell type-specific ablation. Read More