A Look at Conditional Knockout Mice and the Methods Used to Create Them
Conditional knockout mice have become famous in the scientific community because of their remarkable diversity and ease of use. Recently, conditional knockout techniques and technologies were developed that have made the process of conditioning the knockout process extremely straightforward, offering researchers an unprecedented degree of freedom regarding the research and study of specific gene responses. Providers of conditional knockout mice are able to ensure that their models are easy to use together with hundreds of other Cre model lines and develop a working strategy for targeting their preferred genes for research.
What Is Conditional Knockout?
Before talking in depth about conditional knockout mice, we have to look at the conditional knockout process first. Conditional gene knockout has to do with the controlled influence of the knockout process. This procedure is designed to help researchers target genes in specific tissues to render them inert. As an important gene elimination process, the conditional knockout has many important uses when it comes to studying the role of particular genes in keeping the body in good health. Conditional knockouts also eliminate the drawbacks and side effects of traditional knockout processes that eliminate genes from the entire body.
Techniques for Obtaining a Conditional Knockout Mouse
The Cre-lox recombination system is the most prevalent method used for obtaining conditional knockout mice. Recombination between two lox is triggered with the help of the recombinase enzyme Cre. This process causes the two recombining strands of DNA to exchange information and trigger a deletion or inversion between the two sites. It is even possible to inactivate an entire gene, and the process can be triggered with the help of a chemical component. In most cases, tetracycline is used to trigger the activation of the Cre gene, while tamoxifen can help transport the protein to the nucleus.
Advanced Knockout Techniques and Technologies
While conditional knockout genes were not as prevalent just a few years ago, the conditional knockout process is receiving far more attention today than ever before. Companies and academic institutions that deal with studying and creating new knockout mice using newer, more advanced techniques such as CRISPR, have now devised conditional knockout mice that address the crucial need to verify knockout model recombinations facilitated through loxP sites. As a result, these conditional mouse model systems can help develop a greater variety of derivative mouse lines more accurately and reduce the time required to get concrete results from the experiments they are used in.
The Uses and Benefits of Conditional Knockout Mouse Models
What are conditional knockouts made for? The uses of animal models that are developed through this technique have to do with modeling human diseases accurately in other mammals – primarily in mice. Cancer is best studied with conditional knockout mouse models because of its unique tendency to develop specific types of cells during its development. Conditional knockout models were successfully used to facilitate tumor suppression primarily in breast cancer. Similarly positive results were also obtained using conditional knockout mice that were used to target Alzheimer’s disease with a significant degree of success when it came to enhancing the cognitive functions of some of the subjects.