Regarding the statement in this news story "De Belleroche also pointed out that a DAO mutant mouse might be a useful model for ALS research, which sorely needs new models," I'd like to note that it is unlikely that loss of DAO alone will be sufficient for disease. A line of DAO mutant mice, essentially devoid of DAO activity, has been around almost 30 years (Konno and Yakumura, 1983) without any ALS-like symptoms reported in the first year of life. Here is a quote from that paper:
"No apparent difference was detected between DAO+ and DAO- mice. The DAO- mice grew and behaved normally. They were fertile and produced as many offspring as the DAO+ animals did. Besides, the unilaterally nephrectomized DAO- mice lived more than 1 year without any impairment of health. ...[T]he discovery of the DAO- mice suggests that the enzyme is not essential, at least for the growth and reproduction of the mouse under laboratory conditions."
Konno R, Yasumura Y. 1983. Mouse mutant deficient in D-amino acid oxidase activity. Genetics 103:277-85. Abstract
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