Persistent injury to the liver eventually leads to fibrosis and, in the worst cases, liver failure. Although several rodent models for inducible, acute liver fibrosis are available, only a few transgenic mouse models have been described that spontaneously develop liver fibrosis. Now, Kong et al. have created a novel transgenic mouse model for chronic liver fibrosis by using a gene-trap strategy to disrupt the Ncu-g1 gene, which encodes a lysosomal membrane protein that is expressed in the liver. Ncu-g1gt/gt mice develop and grow normally, the researchers report, but spontaneously develop liver fibrosis and exhibit the molecular hallmarks of well-established fibrosis by the age of 6 months. Ncu-g1gt/gt mice might, therefore, provide an animal model for the study of chronic liver injury and liver fibrosis, and for the development of treatments for these conditions. Page 351

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