The key difference between knock in and knockout relies on the method used to create a transgenic organism. In gene knock in, insertion of a new gene takes place while in gene knockout, removal of an existing gene takes place to create a transgenic organism.
Transgenic organisms are organisms with an altered genetic constitution. ‘Recombinant organisms’ is a synonym for them. In most instances, transgenic organisms contain beneficial characteristics. When creating transgenic organisms, genes become the target. According to the need, a gene can be introduced or removed. Gene knock in refers to the introduction of a new gene while gene knockout refers to the removal of a gene.
What is Knock In?
Knock in, or gene knock in, is the process of inserting a new gene into an organism. The inserted gene has to be functional upon insertion. Different genetic engineering techniques carry out the process of gene knock in. Upon gene knock in, creation of a transgenic organism takes place. Recombinant DNA technology also refers to the process of creating a gene knock in. In this process, the organism’s genome has to be cut at specific sites using restriction enzymes, and then insertion of the targeted gene takes place. Upon insertion, the ligase enzyme seals the new gene to the genome, creating a recombinant organism.
Recombinant microorganisms are often utilized to produce the desired products such as vitamins, enzymes, hormones in an industrial scale. Furthermore, a common use of gene knock in mice is for research purposes. They show how different genes express and behave in different environmental and medical conditions. Therefore, it is important to use gene knock in mice to determine most treatments in different diseases.
What is Knockout?
Knockout or gene knockout is the process of completely removing a gene from an organism. That particular gene is completely deactivated during the knockout process. Different genetic engineering techniques are necessary in order to knockout a gene. The resulting organism is a transgenic organism with an altered genetic composition. The complete deactivation of a particular gene takes place either by introducing a mutation to the particular gene or by removing the particular gene fragment by restriction digestion.
First, gene knockout only involved a bacterium called Escherichia coli. However, at present many knockout mice have been created. Knockout mice play an important role in research studies. They provide conclusions on how the deletion of certain genes work on the survival and the existence of the organism. However, there are many ethical constraints pertaining to this concept.
Gene knockout plays an important role in analyzing the genetics of different medical conditions and assessing the efficiency of therapies on different genes.
What are the Similarities Between Knock In and Knockout?
- Both use recombinant DNA technology and different genetic techniques.
- Gene knock in and knock out lead to the creation of a transgenic organism.
- They can be done on living organisms of any organizational level.
- We widely use both methods in research and in industrial applications.
What is the Difference Between Knock In and Knockout?
The difference between knock in and knockout depends on the technique of producing a transgenic organism. Knock in or gene knock in is the process of inserting a new gene to the organism. In contrast, gene knockout is the process of completely deactivating or removing the desired gene. Each method results in different outcomes depending on the alteration.
The below infographic presents more information regarding the difference between knock in and knockout.
Summary – Knock In vs Knockout
Knock in and knockout refer to two methods of creating transgenic organisms by either inserting or completely deactivating genes. Thus, these two methods are important in research and in different industrial applications. Recombinant DNA technology is the process of creating these gene knock in and gene knockout. Gene knock in and knockout play a beneficial role; however, the ethical constraint behind the creation of gene knock in and knockout is a matter of debate in the scientific community. So, this summarizes the difference between knock in and knock out.
1. “Knockout Mice5006-300” By Maggie Bartlett, NHGRI. – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia