KO rats obtained by homologous recombination in rat ES cells

KO rats obtained by homologous recombination in rat ES cells
KO rats obtained by homologous recombination in rat ES cells

One year ago, the first KO rats were reported by Geurts et al. (Science, 2009, 325:433) , using the Zn-finger nucleases technology. Half a year earlier, several laboratories had reported the pionner isolation of true rat embryonic stems (ES) cells, including a manuscript published by Li et al. (Cell, 2008, 135: 1299-1310), from Qi-Long Ying’s lab. Last week, this laboratory reported the generation of the first knockout rats obtained by homologous recombination in rat ES cells [Tong et al. (Nature, 2010, August 11)], thereby illustrating the power of those rat ES cells for the inactivation of a most popular locus, the P53 gene. This report demonstrates that the rat genome is amenable to the same type of genetic modifications as the mouse genome, using equivalent procedures.