TLR4 Floxed Mice
The Practical Importance of TLR4 Floxed Mice in Preventing Immune System Disorders
Genetically modified mice in general, and floxed mice in particular, have played a significant role in helping scientists better understand and protect the human body’s immune system. Due to the fact that mice have a similar genome to that of humans, researchers have been able to perfect the Cre-lox recombinase process in order to generate a wide variety of floxed mouse models designed to help study immunodeficient diseases and their causes.
Cre-lox recombinase technologies are at the basis of what are known as floxed mice. These types of genetically modified mice are designed to be altered through a special type of side-specific recombination, which involves a process through which embryonic stem cells bear a targeted loxP-flanked polymerase gene. The process was first thought of during the 1990s, and has gradually been perfected for use with type and region-specific gene manipulation. Floxed mice can be used for a variety of purposes, due to the fact that they be used for highly targeted conditional gene manipulation methods. They also allow for the possibility for specifically deleting, inactivating or altering a gene in a targeted tissue, while the gene remains and functions the same in all other tissues. Recently, several breakthroughs have been made through targeting TLR cells in order to learn more about the immune system. Targeting specific loxP sites can alter the functioning of the TLR4 gene, which is one of the most important TLR cells.
The main advantage of TLR4 floxed mice has to do primarily with the function of the TLR4 gene, which is responsible for encoding the protein known as TLR4 (toll-like receptor 4). This protein, belonging to the TLR family and found primarily in leukocytes and the placenta, is known to play a key role in recognizing pathogens and activating the body’s innate immunity. The protein is capable of using an extracellular LRR domain in order to communicate with the body and read certain signals that indicate a dangerous presence that the immune system will have to deal with. As a result, TLR4 can play an extremely important role in detecting and responding to proinflammatory cytokine signaling that is often associated with pro-carcinogenic tumors. Additionally, a great deal of progress has also been made in understanding the role of TLR4 in pregnancy, insulin resistance and highly dangerous diseases affecting third world countries, such as malaria.
Aside from understanding how the body deals with pathogens and how cancer progression works, the insight that scientists have gained through the use of TLR4 floxed mice has also extended to genetic evolution. Many researchers estimate that TLR2 and TLR4 diverged almost 500 million years ago, which led to the initial development of the TLR4 gene. Since then, it was discovered that in humans, chimpanzees and baboons, the divergence of exons is only marginal. This reveals that there are weaker evolutionary pressures on humans compared to the evolutionary path of their primate relatives. Studying the TLR4 protein, its evolution, and its effects on human evolution over the past few hundreds of thousands of years is a worthy goal for researchers who seek to understand TLR4 through genetically altered floxed mice.