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Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Oct;2(10):743-55.

Conditional control of gene expression in the mouse.

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Section of Genetics of Vertebrate Development, Laboratory of Cancer and Developmental Biology, National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201, USA.


One of the most powerful tools that the molecular biology revolution has given us is the ability to turn genes on and off at our discretion. In the mouse, this has been accomplished by using binary systems in which gene expression is dependent on the interaction of two components, resulting in either transcriptional transactivation or DNA recombination. During recent years, these systems have been used to analyse complex and multi-staged biological processes, such as embryogenesis and cancer, with unprecedented precision. Here, I review these systems and discuss certain studies that exemplify the advantages and limitations of each system.

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