Scientists around the world have been working together since 2006 to generate a targeted knockout mutation for every gene in the mouse genome. The Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) is providing critical tools for understanding gene function and the genetic causes of human diseases.
Coordinated by the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), an international coalition will produce and phenotype a total of 5,000 knockout mice by 2016. The National Institutes of Health has funded three “KOMP2” centers in the United States, including one at The Jackson Laboratory, to work together on the immense task of producing and phenotyping these mice. We are pleased to contribute to this international effort establishing a global resource of knockout mice and related database of gene function.
The KOMP Production Center draws upon our 80-plus years of experience delivering top-quality models in producing germline-competent chimeras and subsequent mouse cohorts.
Broad phenotypic characterization of emerging mouse models will add important value and greatly enhance their utility to the scientific community.
A coordinated venture would also create efficiency (saving money and time), improve availability, and ensure reproducibility of data through the standardization of models. In 2007, the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC) was formed with the support of the European Commission, the National Institutes of Health and Genome Canada. The process of creating embryonic stem cell lines for knockouts of each of the approximately 21,000 protein-coding genes in the mouse genome was begun through four programs: The Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP), the European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program (EUCOMM), the North American Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Project (NorComm), and the Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM).
Through the sharing of technologies, coordination of production plans and joint resolution of issues related to archiving and distributing resources, the IKMC has had great success and will soon reach its goal.
With ES cell lines already created for more than two-thirds of the mouse genome, in 2011 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the second phase of this project, the Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program, or KOMP2: generating and phenotyping mice for over 5,000 knockout ES cell lines. Phenotyping, which will measure biological information from appearance and behavior to biochemical characteristics, will employ a standardized battery of analyses to obtain consistent data on traits affected by the deleted genes.
The NIH has funded three KOMP2 centers to convert the ES cells into mice and rigorously document their phenotypes:
All of the data generated by the KOMP2 program are collected and made public by a central Data Coordination Center Database located at EBI-Hinxton, with support from Mouse Genome Informatics.
The JAX KOMP2 program is funded by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, through the NIH Common Fund.
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