Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers achieve germline transmission of ’gene knockdown’ in mice

20.01.2003


RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as an extremely versatile and powerful tool in biomedical research. A new study published in the February issue of Nature Structural Biology reports the creation of transgenic mice in which inherited RNAi lowers or silences the expression of a target gene, producing a stable "gene knockdown." This finding extends the power of RNAi to genetic studies in live animals, and has far-reaching implications for the study and treatment of many human diseases.



To adapt RNAi for the study of gene function in mice, Thomas Rosenquist of Stony Brook University (rosenquist@pharm.sunysb.edu; tel: 631-444-8054) and Greg Hannon of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (hannon@cshl.edu; tel: 516-367-8889) used genetic engineering to create mouse embryonic stem cells in which RNAi was targeted to a particular gene. (As Hannon and his colleagues established in a previous study, silencing a gene of interest through RNAi can be efficiently achieved by engineering a second gene that encodes short hairpin RNA molecules corresponding to the gene of interest.)

These stem cells were injected into mouse embryos, and chimeric animals were born. Matings of these chimeric mice produced offspring that contained the genetically engineered RNAi-inducing gene in every cell of their bodies.


When Rosenquist, Hannon, and their colleagues examined tissues from the transgenic mice, they found that expression of the gene of interest was significantly reduced everywhere they looked (e.g. liver, heart, spleen). Such a reduction in gene expression is called a "gene knockdown" to distinguish it from traditional methods that involve "gene knockouts" or the complete deletion of a DNA segment from a chromosome.

One advantage of the RNAi-based gene knockdown strategy, shown in this study to work in whole animals, is that in future incarnations, the strategy can be modified to silence the expression of genes in specific tissues, and it can be designed to be switched on and off at any time during the development or adulthood of the animal. These and other features of the strategy, as well as combining it with drug discovery and other methods, should enable scientists to uncover a great deal of information about how genes influence many normal and pathological processes.

Although the current study targeted a gene thought to be involved in DNA repair, any gene would have sufficed as a target to demonstrate proof of principle as this study has done.

The creation of germline transgenic mice with heritable RNAi opens the door to the manipulation of gene activity in living animals for many applications.

Peter Sherwood | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>