Author(s): Franz WM, Mueller OJ, Hartong R, Frey N, Katus HA
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Abstract Application of molecular genetic tools to inherited cardiovascular disorders has provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathies, arrhythmias, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis. In addition, alteration of gene expression has been observed under common cardiovascular conditions such as cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Recent advances in transgenic and gene-targeting approaches allow a sophisticated manipulation of the mouse genome by gene addition, gene deletion, or gene modifications. These transgenic models enable the dissection of in vivo pathways responsible for these complex disease phenotypes. This review describes tissue-specific promoters suitable for targeting candidate genes to the cardiovascular system as well as a number of valuable transgenic animal models of blood pressure regulation, atherogenesis, defects in the coagulation system, cardiac hypertrophy, myocarditis, cardiomyopathies, and heart failure. Limitations and difficulties associated with these transgenic approaches are discussed. Animal models which may provide a basis for future gene therapy of cardiovascular diseases are introduced. Finally, methods are described to regulate the spatial and temporal expression level of a transgene, to inactivate a target gene in a tissue-specific manner, and to introduce specific mutations into the genome. These recent advances in transgenic technology are expected to have a considerable impact on cardiovascular research in the near future.
This article was published in J Mol Med (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology