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Trends Genet. 2010 Dec;26(12):510-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2010.08.006. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Gene targeting in the rat: advances and opportunities.

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Department of Dermatology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


The rat has long been a model favored by physiologists, pharmacologists and neuroscientists. However, over the past two decades, many investigators in these fields have turned to the mouse because of its gene modification technologies and extensive genomic resources. Although the genomic resources of the rat have nearly caught up, gene targeting has lagged far behind, limiting the value of the rat for many investigators. In the past two years, advances in transposon- and zinc finger nuclease (ZFN)-mediated gene knockout as well as the establishment and culturing of embryonic and inducible pluripotent stem cells have created new opportunities for rat genetic research. Here, we provide a high-level description and the potential uses of these new technologies for investigators using the rat for biomedical research.

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