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Researchers have created transgenic mice capable of detecting potential toxins in the human body.
Researchers under the direction of Ronald M. Evans at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., have created a "humanized" mouse capable of detecting potentially toxic substances in the body. In the process, they have uncovered what they believe to be the primary source of the xenobiotic response within a specific gene they call SXR, steroid and xenobiotic receptor. SXR "may represent the critical biochemical mechanism of human xenoprotection," the authors wrote in a report.1 And the transgenic mouse--known as the SXR mouse--may well profoundly affect the course of drug development.

"We have unequivocally demonstrated the basis for the xenobiotic response residing within a specific molecule, which is a nuclear receptor," explains Evans, director of the Gene Expression Laboratory at Salk and senior author of study. The work "...

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