12:00 AM
Jun 17, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Delaying the knockout punch

The drawback of most techniques used to create knockout mice is that the gene is removed before conception. As a result, many animals die before birth and can't be studied. In addition, some that survive have compensated for the missing gene, confounding the purpose of the knockout experiment. But a "conditional" method of knocking out genes, discovered in 1985 by a DuPont scientist, has offered researchers a solution.

The method, dubbed Cre-lox, uses Cre recombinase enzyme to excise part of a gene. Using transgenic techniques, two Cre recognition sites, also called loxP sites, are inserted in the target gene. Then, after the mouse is grown, the researcher turns on...

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