Mouse models for human DNA mismatch-repair gene defects

Kaichun Wei, Raju Kucherlapati, Winfried Edelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The mammalian DNA mismatch-repair genes belong to a family of genes that comprise several homologs of the Escherichia coli mutS and mutL genes. The observation that mutations in the two human repair genes MSH2 and MLH1 are responsible for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, as well as a significant number of sporadic colorectal cancers, raises several questions about the role of these proteins and their family members in the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer. To address these questions, mice with inactivating mutations in all the known mutS and mutL homologs have been generated. The development of these mouse lines has permitted the systematic analysis of the role of each gene in the repair process and has underscored their significance in mutation avoidance and cancer susceptibility. These analyses were critical for our understanding of the function of these genes at the organismal level and also revealed an essential role for some of the DNA mismatch-repair genes in mammalian meiosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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