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Knockout Mouse Project Overview

Mouse with DNA tailThe Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) is a trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative that aims to generate a comprehensive and public resource comprised of mice containing a null mutation in every gene in the mouse genome. (See: The NIH Knockout Mouse Project Website [nih.gov])

By capitalizing on efficiencies of scale and a centralized production effort, the project intends to make this catalog of mutants available in mouse strain C57BL/6 for two reasons: it is the most widely used strain, and it is the strain for which complete genome sequence has been made available. This concept for the KOMP was developed at an international workshop held at the Banbury Center in the autumn of 2003 (and published in Nature Genetics, September 2004 (Austin, et al). The meeting attendees agreed that such a comprehensive resource of null mutants would greatly benefit the biomedical research community and enhance our understanding of human disease.

Acting on the outcome of this meeting, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) organized a working group of NIH Institute and Center representatives to plan the role that NIH should play in implementing this goal. In developing the NIH KOMP plan, this working group considered the current state of the field and recommendations from members of mouse research community made during a second workshop in March 2005. (See NIH Planning Meeting for a Knockout Mouse Project)

In brief, the NIH KOMP initiative aims to:
  1. Make a null mutant allele, marked with a reporter of high utility, for 8,500 genes in C57BL/6 by gene targeting.
  2. Support a repository to house the products of this resource as well as an additional 'repatriation' effort to bring into repositories 1000 of the existing high priority mouse knockouts not already stored in a public repository.
  3. Support a technology development effort to increase the germ line transmission efficiency for C57BL/6 derived ES cells, so that they may be used in a high throughput capacity in generating this resource.
  4. Support a data coordination center that will make the results of the production effort available to the research community. The URL for this Website is www.knockoutmouse.org.

Knockout Mouse Project Repository

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) in Oakland, Calif., will collaborate to preserve, protect and make available knockout mice and related products available to the research community. Specifically, the repository will archive, maintain and distribute up to 8,500 strains of embryonic stem cell clones, live mouse lines, frozen embryos and sperm and vectors - while assuring product quality and availability for all materials. More information about the KOMP resources is available at www.komp.org. To request information or products, researchers can call 1-888-KOMP-MICE or e-mail service@komp.org.

Knockout Mouse Project Data Coordination Center

The KOMP Data Coordination Center (DCC) Website can be found at www.knockoutmouse.org. The KOMP Data Coordination Center is being established in close collaboration with all members of the KOMP Research Network. The KOMP DCC is centered at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine and is led by Dr. Martin Ringwald along with Drs. Jim Kadin, Janan Eppig and Carol Bult. The primary goals of the DCC are as follows:

  1. To serve the KOMP research network laboratories as a central information resource regarding publicly available null and conditional mutants and provide query and display tools to support prioritizing new mouse genes for knockout experiments.
  2. To collect information generated by the KOMP, track progress of the knockout mutant production pipelines, and make the data readily available to all members of the KOMP research network to support, coordinate, and synergize their individual research programs.
  3. To serve as the central public interface for the KOMP, with links to all groups funded by the KOMP research network, as well as link to other efforts generating knockout mice, such as the European and North American Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis programs (EUCOMM and NORCOMM). The DCC will provide web-based query and display tools for KOMP data and mechanisms to download large data sets for further analysis. The data will also be exported to other relevant community databases such as Ensembl, the UCSC Genome Browser, NCBI, and Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI).

Other Knockout Mouse Resources Currently Available

NIH has contracts with Deltagen, Inc. and Lexicon Genetics, Inc. to provide access to 256 lines of knockout mice that have been extensively characterized. For each mouse line, the contractors have provided not only the mouse line itself, but also detailed, objective data on the impact of the specific gene deletion on the mouse's phenotype.

This resource gives researchers unprecedented access to two private collections of knockout mice, providing valuable models for the study of human disease and laying the groundwork for the KOMP.

NIH is now pleased to announce that Lexicon will make over 2500 knockout mouse strains available (and the list will be updated on a regular basis as new knockouts strains are added) for purchase by NIH funded investigators under the same terms as the contract NIH used to acquire knockout mice by using NIH grant money.

Under these terms, an NIH investigator acquiring a Lexicon knockout mouse using his or her grant funds is expected to place the mouse lines in a NIH-supported mouse repository. Universities, medical schools and research laboratories will have access to mice and germplasm all over the world. Lexicon will send heterozygous mice and materials to the investigator. The investigator and institution will be responsible for coordinating with a NIH supported repository to ensure that banks of cryopreserved embryos, sperm and embryonic stem cells are archived using state-of-the-art procedures. Mice and cryopreserved germplasm will be available from the central repository for a nominal fee to cover the costs of quality control, archiving, shipping and restocking the archive. Investigators acquiring mice are also responsible for ensuring that phenotypic data received from Lexicon is deposited in the Mouse Genome Informatics database or another publicly accessible database. All information provided by Lexicon for each mutant mouse will be made available to researchers worldwide without restriction.

Knockout Mouse Project Meetings, Papers and News

Related Resources

Archived Knockout Mouse Project Funding Opportunities

  • RFA-RM-10-011 [grants.nih.gov]: Knockout Mouse Phenotyping (U54)
  • RFA-RM-10-012 [grants.nih.gov]; Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Project Database (U54)
  • RFA-RM-10-013 [grants.nih.gov]: Knockout Mouse Production and Cryopreservation (U42)
  • NOT-HG-08-003 [grants.nih.gov]: Correction to Correction to Notice-HG-08-002, Administrative Supplements for Making Knockout Mice
  • NOT-HG-08-002 [grants.nih.gov]: Administrative Supplements for Making Knockout Mice
  • RFA-RR-06-005 [grants.nih.gov]:Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) Repository (U42)
  • RFA-DA-06-009 [grants.nih.gov]: Development and Improvement of Inbred ES Cell Lines for Use in Generation of Mouse Mutants (U01)
  • RFA-HG-05-007 [grants.nih.gov]: Completion of a Comprehensive Mouse Knockout Resource (U01)
  • RFA-HG-05-008 [grants.nih.gov]: A Data Coordination Center for the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) (U01)

Knockout Mouse Project NHGRI Staff

Program Directors

Colin Fletcher, Ph.D.
E-mail: fletcherc2@mail.nih.gov

Mark Moore, Ph.D. (Contractor)
E-mail: mmoore3@mail.nih.gov

Program Analyst

Sheethal Jose
E-mail: sheethal.jose@nih.gov


National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
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Phone: (301) 496-7531
Fax: (301) 480-2770

Last updated: September 27, 2016