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Hinteregger, B; Loeffler, T; Flunkert, S; Neddens, J; Birner-Gruenberger, R; Bayer, TA; Madl, T; Hutter-Paier, B.
Transgene integration causes RARB downregulation in homozygous Tg4-42 mice.
Sci Rep. 2020; 10(1): 6377-6377. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63512-8 [OPEN ACCESS]
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Co-Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz
Birner-Grünberger Ruth
Löffler Tina
Madl Tobias

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Alzheimer's disease can be modelled by different transgenic mouse strains. To gain deeper insight into disease model mechanisms, the previously described Tg4-42 mouse was analysed for transgene integration. On RNA/DNA level the transgene integration resulted in more than 20 copy numbers and further caused a deletion of exon 2 of the retinoic acid receptor beta. These findings were also confirmed on protein level with highly decreased retinoic acid receptor beta protein levels in homozygous Tg4-42 mice and may have an impact on the previously described phenotype of homozygous Tg4-42 mice to be solely dependent on amyloid-ß 4-42 expression. Since hemizygous mice show no changes in RARB protein levels it can be concluded that the previously described phenotype of these mice should not be affected by the retinoic acid receptor beta gene knockout. In order to fully understand the results of transgenesis, it is extremely advisable to determine the genome integration site and the basic structure of the inserted transgenes. This can be carried out for instance by next-generation sequencing techniques. Our results thus suggest that a detailed characterization of new disease models using the latest genomics technologies prior to functional studies could be a valuable tool to avoid an unexpected genetic influence on the animals' phenotype that is not only based on the inserted transgene. This would also significantly improve the selection of mouse models that are best suited for therapeutic development and basic research.

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