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 Historical rainfall levels are significant in carbon emissions from soil
30.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht 3D printer inks from the woods
30.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New Method of Characterizing Graphene

Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

3D printer inks from the woods

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

How circadian clocks communicate with each other

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible

30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>