Versatile cell ablation tools and their applications to study loss of cell functions

Fengming Liu, Shen Dai, Dechun Feng, Xiao Peng, Zhongnan Qin, Alison C. Kearns, Wenfei Huang, Yong Chen, Süleyman Ergün, Hong Wang, Jay Rappaport, Elizabeth C. Bryda, Anand Chandrasekhar, Bertal Aktas, Hongzhen Hu, Sulie L. Chang, Bin Gao, Xuebin Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Targeted cell ablation is a powerful approach for studying the role of specific cell populations in a variety of organotypic functions, including cell differentiation, and organ generation and regeneration. Emerging tools for permanently or conditionally ablating targeted cell populations and transiently inhibiting neuronal activities exhibit a diversity of application and utility. Each tool has distinct features, and none can be universally applied to study different cell types in various tissue compartments. Although these tools have been developed for over 30 years, they require additional improvement. Currently, there is no consensus on how to select the tools to answer the specific scientific questions of interest. Selecting the appropriate cell ablation technique to study the function of a targeted cell population is less straightforward than selecting the method to study a gene’s functions. In this review, we discuss the features of the various tools for targeted cell ablation and provide recommendations for optimal application of specific approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4725-4743
Number of pages19
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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