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Genetic animal models to decipher the pathogenic effects of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency

Abstract : Vitamin B12 and folate are essential micronutrients that provide methyl groups for cellular methylations through the so-called one-carbon metabolism. Deficits in the absorption and transport or defects of the enzymes can lead to human pathogenesis comprising hematologic, neural, gastrointestinal, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular and developmental manifestations. One-carbon metabolism is a complex, multistep and multi-organ metabolism, and the understanding of the mechanisms at work have benefited from human inborn errors and population studies, as well as from nutritional animal models. Since 15 years, a wide variety of genetically engineered mice has been developed and has proved to be useful to decipher the underlying mechanisms. These genetically engineered mice target all the genes that are important for the intestinal absorption, cellular transport and metabolism of vitamin B12 and folate, which are detailed in this article. In conclusion, these mouse models represent valuable experimental paradigms for human pathogenesis. Since no animal model recapitulates the full spectrum of a human disease, researchers have to choose the one that is the most relevant for their specific needs, and this review may help in this respect.
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Lü Peng, Natacha Dreumont, David Coelho, Jean-Louis Guéant, Carole Arnold. Genetic animal models to decipher the pathogenic effects of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. Biochimie, Elsevier, 2016, 126, pp.43 - 51. ⟨10.1016/j.biochi.2016.05.007⟩. ⟨hal-01666747⟩



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