Telomeres are important for protecting the ends of chromosomal DNA as we age. They progressively shorten over time, but this process may undergo abnormal alteration during disease such as cancer. Telomerase is the enzyme complex responsible for extension of telomeres. More specifically, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the catalytic portion of this complex responsible for telomere synthesis. It can be detected in embryonic stem cells as well as cell types which require renewal throughout adulthood including immune cells and sperm. Telomerase has been well studied on a global level in animal systems with the aid of a mutant (global knockout) mouse model. However, the role of TERT in specific cell types has not been well characterized due to the inability to knockout this gene in a cell specific manner. Conditional cell specific knockouts will enable studies to better understand the cell type specific role of TERT in normal and disease processes throughout the body.
Creation of a conditional TERT knockout mouse
This technology utilizes the Cre-loxP system to create a floxed TERT allele in mice. This mouse can then be crossed to any cell type specific Cre mouse to induce knockout of TERT function in only that cell type. This will provide researchers an avenue to research the role of TERT in cell type specific processes, such as immune response and cancer progression.
- Studying TERT function in:
- Cancer biology
- injury/wound healing
- Cell specific TERT knockout
- Time specific TERT knockout