The Use of Cre–loxP Technology and Inducible Systems to Generate Mouse Models of Cancer
Genetically engineered mice carrying targeted modification of tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes have greatly advanced our understanding of their roles in cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. However, alterations of these genes often result in lethality at stages prior to tumor formation. This obstacle has been effectively overcome by the use of the Cre–loxP technology in conjunction with inducible systems to generate genetic switches for precise DNA recombination. The ability to silence or activate genes of interest in a spatial and temporal manner makes it straightforward for studying their functions both in vitro and in vivo. This review summarizes the technical aspects of designing and generating mice carrying conditional loss or gain of function mutations, and strategies for tissue-specific Cre–loxP-mediated recombination. Applications of several major inducible systems in cancer research are also discussed.
KeywordsMutant Mouse Inducible System loxP Site Conditional Knockout Smad4 Gene
I thank Dr. John T. Lahusen for the critical reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA.
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