Conditional Knockout Mouse Models
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A conditional Knockout mouse defines an animal model in which a gene of interest can be:
- Inactivated in specific cell types in a certain tissue; other cell types and tissues exhibit an unmodified, functional gene expression
- Temporally suppressed at a given time-point in embryonic, post-natal or adult animals
This strategy can bypass the limits that are usually observed with constitutive Knockout mouse models (e.g., embryonic lethality, compensatory mechanisms or complex phenotype). The phenotype can also be more reliably associated with inactivation of the target gene.
How does it work?
The most commonly used technique is the Cre-loxP system (see also site-specific recombination). The Cre recombinase recognizes the loci of recombination loxP that causes a deletion of the gene between the two loxP sites.