Although pigs are used widely as models of human disease, their utility as models has been enhanced by genetic engineering. Initially, transgenes were added randomly to the genome, but with the application of homologous recombination, zinc finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technologies, now most any genetic change that can be envisioned can be completed. To date these genetic modifications have resulted in animals that have the potential to provide new insights into human diseases for which a good animal model did not exist previously. These new animal models should provide the preclinical data for treatments that are developed for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, retinitis pigmentosa, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, and organ failure. These new models will help to uncover aspects and treatments of these diseases that were otherwise unattainable. The focus of this review is to describe genetically engineered pigs that have resulted in models of human diseases.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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