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Researchers Create First Targeted Knockout Rats Using Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology
Date:7/23/2009

of making gene knockouts in cells and in whole organisms. We believe that this technology will become the method of choice for genome engineering in cells, plants and transgenic animals."

In the first commercial application of this technique, OMT, a private biotechnology company developing a new rat-based human antibody platform, used Sangamo's ZFNs to knock out the gene encoding rat immunoglobulin M (IgM), an important gene for rat antibody production. Inactivation of rat IgM expression is the first step in generating rats that exclusively express human antibodies encoded by transgenic human immunoglobulin genes. "Creating a knockout rat was the biggest challenge OMT faced," said Dr. Roland Buelow, CEO of OMT and a senior author of the paper. "Inactivation of endogenous rat antibody expression is essential for human antibody expression in genetically engineered animals. To solve this problem, we used ZFN technology in an application that has the potential to revolutionize genetic engineering of animals."

"We have invested our time and resources to develop the CompoZr platform because we see enormous potential in a technology that can precisely manipulate the genome of living organisms," said Dr. David Smoller, President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit. "We are proud to be part of the public-private collaboration developing the proof-of-concept for this technique, which we believe will become the standard for the creation of genetically engineered research animals."

Sigma-Aldrich, the sole source of commercial zinc finger nucleases for the research community, markets Sangamo's ZFN technology through its CompoZr(TM) line of products and services. To get more information, please visit http://www.compozrzfn.com/.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-
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