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Conditional control of gene expression in the mammary gland

Conditional control of gene expression in the mammary gland

Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia 2(4): 373-383

Identifying gene function during mammary gland development and function remains a technical challenge. For example, if a gene deletion is lethal during early embryogenesis, there is no opportunity to study its effects on the development or function of the gland. Similarly, if a dominant gain of gene function alters early mammary gland development, then its specific role during lactation cannot be assessed. Conditional gene expression systems can be used to circumvent these problems. Gene deletions or dominant gain experiments can be performed in an organ or cell type specific manner at specific timepoints using inducible gene expression systems. This review focuses on tetracycline responsive transactivation and Cre-lox systems. Other tetracycline regulatable (tet system) or hormone inducible systems and the Flp recombinase system are discussed as alternative approaches. Each system is described. The advantages and disadvantages of each for studying gene function in the mammary gland are discussed. Finally, the role of mammary gland transplantation in these genetic studies is examined.

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Accession: 045617436

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PMID: 10935025

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