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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2007;(178):511-24.

Contribution of targeted conditional somatic mutagenesis to deciphering retinoid X receptor functions and to generating mouse models of human diseases.

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BP10142, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/INSERM/Université Louis Pasteur), 67404 Illkirch, France.


The last decade has witnessed an enormous rise in the interest for retinoid signalling and its cognate receptors, because of their central role in the coordination of development and homeostasis, through their ability to orchestrate the expression of numerous target genes. These receptors include six nuclear receptor (NR) family members, the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) alpha, beta and gamma, and the retinoid X receptor (RXR) alpha, beta and gamma, which are expressed in many cell types in mammals. Analysis of the development of mouse embryos bearing retinoid receptor null mutations demonstrated that these receptors transduce the effects of retinoic acid (RA, the active derivative of vitamin A) in vivo, and revealed impressive complexity. However, frequent redundancy in receptor functions and lethality of compound RAR-null mutants, as well as of RXRalpha-null mutants, precluded the characterisation of the functions of these receptors during late development and postnatally. We illustrate here how recent developments of conditional targeted somatic mutagenesis have opened new avenues in analysing the physiological functions of retinoid X receptor signalling in a variety of tissues and cell types, as well as in exploring the pathophysiological consequences of their alteration that led to novel mouse models of human diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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