Transgenic Rats and the Functional Genomics of Endocrine Systems

  • David Murphy
  • Sara J. Wells
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 13)


Based on the gene density of the recently sequenced human chromosome 22 (1), it can be calculated that mammals have about 50,000 genes. The identification of these genes is a necessary prelude to any attempt to construct models of endocrine function based on integrated gene networks. Such a global approach demands that we identify all of the genes that are expressed in endocrine cells, that we determine when and where these genes are expressed, and, finally, that we determine their functions. Although information in databases will not, by itself, be sufficient to determine biological function, it will provide a foundation for the design of appropriate experiments. This remarkable wealth of information that molecular genetics has provided us with needs to be integrated into an understanding of the functioning of whole tissues, organs and organisms. Without such integration, molecular information is nothing more than a confusing catalogue of sequences and structures. The experimental tools exist in model organisms such as the rat, but not in humans, for assembling genes into pathways and thus identifying gene function from sequence. In particular, transgenic technologies enable rapid movement between genotype and phenotype through the generation of specific loss-of-function, overexpression or misexpression phenotypes (2).


Growth Hormone cAMP Response Element Binding Transgenic Model Magnocellular Neuron Antisense Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Murphy
    • 1
  • Sara J. Wells
    • 1
  1. 1.University Research Centre for NeuroendocrinologyUniversity of Bristol, Bristol Royal InfirmaryBristolUK

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