The recent ability to inactivate specific genes in mice has significantly accelerated our understanding of molecular, cellular, and even behavioral aspects of normal and disease processes. However, this ability has also demonstrated the extreme complexity of genetic determination in mammals, in particular, that genes in the same family or pathway can be functionally redundant and that a given gene often has multiple roles. Thus, inactivation of a gene often does not indicate its complete spectrum of functions. To circumvent this problem, many new tools and novel applications of classic techniques have been developed to place spatial and temporal restrictions on the genomic alterations. These approaches include chimera and mosaic studies, organ transplantation, complementation assays, dominant negative mutants, conditional gene knockouts, and lineage-specific gene rescue. Not only has this opened up more sophisticated ways to make genomic alterations, but it has provided the opportunity to create animal models for sporadic human genetic diseases.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1998|