Flanking gene and genetic background problems in genetically manipulated mice

Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Sep 15;56(6):381-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.12.026.


Mice carrying engineered genetic modifications have become an indispensable tool in the study of gene functioning. The interpretation of results obtained with targeted mutants is not completely straightforward, however, because of genetic complications due to linkage and epistasis. Effects of closely linked genes flanking the targeted locus might sometimes be responsible for phenotypic changes ascribed to the null mutation. The effects of the latter might also be modified by the general genetic background. This review presents some examples and discusses some simple strategies to deal with these complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5' Flanking Region
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Chimera
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Targeting*
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Genotype
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype*