Human airway diseases are complex diseases underpinned by a broad range of environmental and genetic factors. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the most common airway diseases that are characterized by intermittent inflammation of the small airways of the lung with symptoms of wheeze and shortness of breath. The presence of inflammation can lead to irreversible airway scarring and intractable airflow limitation. Pulmonary endothelial cells, epithelial cells, bronchial smooth muscle cells and immune cells in lung actively participate in the response of airway inflammation. With the rapid development of recombineering and site specific recombination system in recent years, many genes have been targeted in mice for the research of the airway inflammatory response. The knockout (ko) mice provided valuable tools to study the mechanisms of airway diseases from signal transductions to immune responses. Recent human association studies for the complex airway diseases such as asthma and COPD revealed many novel genes that underlie the diseases. Understanding these genetic predispositions to airway diseases offers a means of developing new therapies and strategies for the prevention of disease. Gene targeting in mice will play important roles to dissect the novel gene’s functions in human airway diseases.
Citation: Zhang Y (2013) Applications of Gene Targeting in the Investigations of Human Airway Diseases. Clon Transgen 2:103. doi:10.4172/2168-9849.1000103