Gene targeting technology is a new technology developed in the 20 century, it is an experiment to change the genetic information by using DNA homologous recombination principle and embryonic stem cells (ES cells) technology in directional combining with the characteristics of high targeting and stable heredity of the new genes.The methods contain gene knockout, gene knock in, point mutation, deletion mutation, chromosome fragment deletion etc. Gene engineering technologies related including transgenic gene,gene silencing and gene trapping etc.Gene targeting provides a powerful tool for the research of life sciences, genomics and disease treatment fields.
Gene targeting is the use of chromosome DNA and exogenous DNA doing homologous recombination.It is realized by integrating specific exogenous gene site into target cell gene on a certain poin through homologous recombinatio in order to achieve the purposes of site-specific gene modification and transformation.Gene targeting can achive those modifications and transformations to organism(especially mammalian)genome like gene inactivation,point mutations, deletion mutations, introduction of an exogenous gene, large fragment of chromosome deletion. And also,it can make the genetic information modified keep through germline.
"Targeting" technology is a another revolution followed transgenic technique on molecular biology techniques."It creates a new field of study", overcomes the blindness and risk of arbitrary gene integration , is an ideal method of modifying, altering genetic material. Especially the establishment of conditioned, inducible gene targeting system, makes gene target site more precise in time and space. Its development provides a new research method for the development of molecular biology, genetics, immunology and medical science etc.The research can study gene function, produce transgenic animal and plant with commercial value,transplant allogeneic animal organ and cure human disease.Once this research is released, its study are widly used in gene function and pharmaceutical.
Gene targeting consists of two kinds of methods which are gene knock in and gene knock out.Gene knockout (gene knock-out) is the method to make specific target gene inactive by homologous recombination in order to study the gene function.It is most commonly used in gene targeting.Gene knock in is(gene knock-in) to replace a gene with a gene by homologous recombination, in order to determine whether they have the same function in the body.Or the normal genes are brought to replace mutation genes in order to achieve the purpose of targeted gene therapy. According to the different target cells, gene targeting is divided into embryonic stem cells targeting (Embryonic Stern cell, ES) and somatic (somatic cel1) targeting two categories.
In fact, only can gene targeting studies establish a causal relationship between genes and diseases. There are 500 kinds of human disease mice models developed through gene targeting technology .These models have greatly enrich our understanding of gene function in these diseases.
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