Custom Transgenic Mice Since 1989
The Transgenic and Knockout Mouse Shared Resource provides Duke researchers with comprehensive and user-friendly services for the production of custom designed, transgenic and gene targeted mice, and the ability to cryopreserve these reagents for storage & distribution to the scientific community.
The resource specializes in the microinjection of DNA/RNA (CRISPR) constructs into the pronucleus of fertilized mouse embryos and the genetic manipulation of pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). DNA microinjection produces founder animals typically known as "transgenic mice." Introduction of ESCs with altered genes into the blastocyst produces animals that are colloquially known as "gene targeted mice."
Using ESCs, the resource makes mice with point mutations, null alleles and deletions ("knock-out" mice), conditional mutations, and gene exchanges ("knock-in" alleles). These are powerful models for basic and translational cancer research. In addition, the resource has successfully produced Knockouts, point mutations & Knockins using cutting edge in vivo editing by injection of CRISPR constructs into mouse embryos. Attesting to the scientific impact of the resource, 139 peer-reviewed research papers from DCI members were published during the last funding period using mice generated by this Shared Resource and/or cells derived from them.
The resource is organized into three specialized and experienced teams that provide: 1) Molecular biology services, 2) transgenic and gene targeted mouse services, and 3) rodent husbandry services. Each team works in close collaboration with basic and clinician scientists to provide personalized technical support at all stages of the production process. This includes new approaches to conditional mutagenesis and the use of gene targeted ESCs and mice already available from other resources worldwide. Investigators can thus maximize project efficiency by taking advantage of complete services - from designing a gene mutation, targeting ESCs to produce genetically altered mice, or mutating mice by direct injection of CRISPR constructs into mouse embryos, expanding and cross breeding lines, and preserving the mice as frozen embryos and sperm - all by service groups located on the Duke campus.