Why Should You Consider Making Transgenic Mice For Your Experiments?
A Custom Transgenic Mouse Can Fit Your Research Goals
Transgenic mice are genetically modified animals with an extra genetic sequence, called a transgene, permanently integrated into their genome. Making transgenic mice is a popular option for researchers because the sequence of the transgene is under the researcher’s control. With this flexibility different transgenic mice can be created for different experiments. For example, one new transgenic mouse line could be created in such a way as to switch off a specific gene, while another new line could affect the same gene in a different way. This versatility, and the development of different methods for making transgenic mice, have led to transgenic mice being used in thousands of studies.
Considerations When Creating Transgenic Mice
Choosing the correct transgene sequence is crucial when making transgenic mice. The experimental goals should be considered carefully along with the possibility that the transgene will affect the mouse’s health in unwanted ways. For example if expression of the transgene causes infertility it may be challenging or impossible to use the new line. Fortunately, since the transgene’s sequence is determined by the researcher it should be possible to create a model for almost any experiment. Another important decision when making transgenic mice is the choice of method for integrating the transgene into the mouse’s genome. Two different strategies, referred to as targeted and untargeted, can be used to create transgenic mice. The initial steps for making an untargeted transgenic mouse line are less complex so this is often an attractive option. However the results are somewhat unpredictable because the transgene is integrated at a random location in the genome. Any new transgenic line must be tested before it’s used in experiments, and the amount of testing will be greater if an untargeted strategy is used.
Many Uses for Transgenic Mice and Other Transgenic Organisms
The versatile strategy of making a transgenic organism by introducing a new DNA sequence creates an incredible number of experimental possibilities. Different transgene sequences can be used in order to create the necessary conditions and different transgenic strategies are often referred to by specific names that indicate the functional results of the genetic change. For example, if a transgene is inserted in a way that disrupts an existing gene in the genome it may be referred to as a knockout model. Alternately a transgenic model that is supposed to express a transgene’s sequence without disrupting other genes can be called a knock-in model. Technically the knockout and knock-in models might both also count as transgenic models but it’s more common to refer to them by the intended results. Versatile transgenic approaches can also be applied to many other organisms from bacteria to plants to most animals. The possibilities of transgenic organisms are enormous, from understanding diseases to creating new drugs for future use in people. If you’re considering making transgenic mice to use in your research contact the experts at ingenious to discuss all the options.