Accelerating cancer modeling with RNAi and nongermline genetically engineered mouse models

Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2013 Nov 1;2013(11):10.1101/pdb.top069856 pdb.top069856. doi: 10.1101/pdb.top069856.


For more than two decades, genetically engineered mouse models have been key to our mechanistic understanding of tumorigenesis and cancer progression. Recently, the massive quantity of data emerging from cancer genomics studies has demanded a corresponding increase in the efficiency and throughput of in vivo models for functional testing of putative cancer genes. Already a mainstay of cancer research, recent innovations in RNA interference (RNAi) technology have extended its utility for studying gene function and genetic interactions, enabling tissue-specific, inducible and reversible gene silencing in vivo. Concurrent advances in embryonic stem cell (ESC) culture and genome engineering have accelerated several steps of genetically engineered mouse model production and have facilitated the incorporation of RNAi technology into these models. Here, we review the current state of these technologies and examine how their integration has the potential to dramatically enhance the throughput and capabilities of animal models for cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • RNA Interference