Recent technological advances have enabled us to manipulate specific genes in laboratory animals in a specific predetermined manner. This has opened new areas of research on physiological processes not previously accessible to such precise experimental manipulation. Over-expression of genes by traditional transgenic techniques has recently been complemented by methods that allow the efficient transfer of exogenous genes into various somatic tissues of adult animals. The development of homologous recombination technology in embryonic stem cells (ESC) and the application of this technology to specifically disrupt a given gene of interest in the germline of a mouse has been particularly useful to determine the physiologically relevant processes in which these genes participate in vivo. Rather than introducing random mutations into the genome by chemical mutagenesis or by retroviral insertion, techniques that have been employed in the past, gene targeting not only allows us to disrupt any cloned gene, but also to specifically introduce single nucleotide changes into its genomic sequence. The past few years have witnessed an explosion of research reports in all areas of biological research that have employed these ground-breaking tools of modern genetics to study the physiological roles of a plethora of different genes in neurobiology immunology, endocrinology, development, etc. Our laboratory has also extensively used these new approaches to study the function of several genes that are involved in the metabolism of lipoproteins on the systemic as well as on the cellular level. In this article, we will review the various approaches we have used to define the roles of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP) and the receptor-associated protein (RAP) in hepatic lipoprotein metabolism.
- LDL Receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine