Establishment of conditional knockout alleles for the gene encoding the regulator of telomere length (RTEL).Genesis. 2007 Dec; 45(12):788-92.G
Regulator of telomere length (RTEL) is a DNA helicase-like protein that has recently been demonstrated to be required for the maintenance of telomere length and genomic stability. Rtel null mice are embryonic lethal with the defects in the nervous system, the heart, the vasculature, and extra-embryonic tissues. Rtel could also be important for the postnatal development as its expression is strongly induced in the proliferating adult cells. To further characterize the role of RTEL in adult tissue function and homeostasis, we have generated the floxed (loxP-flanked) alleles allowing to inactivate RTEL through Cre-mediated recombination in a cell- or tissue-specific manner and also to circumvent the embryonic lethality of the Rtel null allele. Mice heterozygous or homozygous for these alleles are viable and fertile. Crossing the floxed Rtel allele with a ubiquitous Cre transgenic line resulted in embryonic defects identical to those previously described for the Rtel null embryos. These conditional alleles will therefore be the important genetic tools for dissecting the spatial and temporal roles of RTEL in the regulation of telomere length and genomic stability during postnatal development and tumorigenesis.