In solving the mystery of gene function, there is no more important clue than the phenotype of inactivating the gene of interest. With a plethora of methods available, researchers must first determine what approach is best for their specific scientific questions and experimental systems.
For over a decade, RNA-interference-based methods of gene knockdown (i.e. RNAi & shRNA) have provided a wealth of insight into gene function, but in recent years the advent of CRISPR- and TALEN-based methods now allow genome editing to be used to quickly and efficiently test the effect of gene knockouts. Here, we review the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches, and describe some experimental situations in which one approach is better than another, focusing primarily on CRISPR/Cas9 and shRNA. For a discussion of the relative advantages of CRISPR/Cas9 versus TALEN, see our prior Newsletter on this topic (http://www.cyagen.com/us/en/community/newsletters/issue-1.html).
As a leader in custom rodent models, Cyagen offers a "one-stop shop" tailored to your gene research needs. Our services range from DNA vector construction to embryonic stem cell manipulation, microinjection and breeding. Cyagen Knockout Catalog Models features over 10,000 knockout mouse models on 100% pure C57BL/6 backgrounds, delivered in as fast as 3 months.
TurboKnockout® Gene Targeting - ES-based knockout mice, 100% guaranteed germline transmission, as fast as 6 months
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Transgenic Mice - More consistent expression, defined region of integration, founders as fast as 3 months