Mice continue to play a significant role in all facets of molecular research!

Man’s new best friend?

While we still love our dogs, humankind’s best friend is probably now the mouse! Did you know that everyone’s favorite Moravian monk – Gregor Mendel – actually started out his studies of trait assortment with mice rather than peas? Fortunately for all, the basic principles of Mendelian genetics can be observed from many organisms, including peas.

The use of mice as a tool for genetics began in earnest in the early 1900s. Lucien Cuenot demonstrated Mendelian ratios for coat colors in 1902. Who could have guessed that exactly one century later, the first draft of mouse genome would be published in 2002 (1, 2)? We now know that 99% of human genes have a direct murine counterpart.

Today, tools for studying genetic mechanisms in mice have taken a step beyond breeding into the realm of molecular biology. Dharmacon, Inc. supports murine genetics with some of the most advanced technologies and comprehensive collections of reagents.

Gene expression knockdown with RNAi

For years, Dharmacon products have enabled researchers to investigate gene functions in murine systems using multiple mouse siRNA tools.

For longer term knockdown, we offer SMARTvector shRNA with a selection of reporters and promoters, including constitutive and inducible options, to choose from. These products are offered as lentiviral vectors, particles and pools. For microRNA knockdown studies in murine cells, choose synthetic miRIDIAN mimics and inhibitors. Longer term expression of microRNAs is enabled by our line of shMIMIC vectors with a patented expression scaffold for accurate processing of mature microRNA.

If you have particular design or synthesis needs for siRNA targeting your gene, our online design and ordering tools let you customize an siRNA for synthesis with a wide variety of scales, processing options, and modifications available.

Gene Overexpression

If your mouse research focuses on overexpression of critical mouse genes, Dharmacon products include multiple cDNA and ORF collections to choose from:

CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene knockout

With the recent revolution of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, we have expanded our collection of Dharmacon mouse tools and resources. The Edit-R genome engineering system includes algorithm-optimized, pre-designed individual mouse crRNAs, as well as arrayed gene family libraries. We also provide a sgRNA, lentiviral option as individual clones or pooled lentiviral particle screening libraries.

Looking to design a specific mouse crRNA or lentiviral sgRNA? You can visit our CRISPR Design Tool. Inputs include Gene ID or symbol, target DNA sequence or your own RNA sequence.

Murine studies in vivo

In addition to in vitro uses of our mouse tools and products there are multiple components that can also be used in vivo, including siSTABLE and Accell siRNA. Here are some key references illustrating in vivo mouse applications:


  1. Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium Nature 420, 520–562 (2002).
  2. The FANTOM Consortium and the RIKEN Genome Exploration Research Group Phase I and II Team Nature 420, 563–573 (2002).