Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yeast Mutations Offer Window Into Human Disease

Date:
February 6, 2004
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Different combinations of genetic mutations may give rise to diverse human traits, including complex diseases such as schizophrenia, say scientists at the University of Toronto and McGill University in Montreal.

Different combinations of genetic mutations may give rise to diverse human traits, including complex diseases such as schizophrenia, say scientists at the University of Toronto and McGill University in Montreal.

Related Articles


Drs Brenda Andrews and Charles Boone of University of Toronto, as well as Howard Bussey of McGill used simple yeast cells to demonstrate that there are many different combinations of genetic mutations that can lead to cell death or reduced cell fitness. The research team will now focus on mapping gene interactions for those yeast genes that are similar to human genes. Their study appears in the Feb. 6 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers crossed a yeast strain carrying a mutation in a particular gene of interest with a collection or "array" of other yeast strains to determine which gene pairs were lethal. The team studied more than 4,000 of these interactions involving gene pairs and were able to provide a large scale "genetic interaction network" that provokes new ideas about how genes interact to produce different traits.

For example, they determined that genes arrange themselves in "neighbourhoods" or small networks. A gene is more likely to interact with its "neighbour," they discovered, than with more distant genes. Each yeast gene has on average about 30 of these interactions over the life of a cell, many more than had been predicted by previous experiments. By understanding the composition of these genetic "neighbourhoods," it is possible to predict which genes will interact and which traits will result when two genes combine.

"Constructing these networks will help human geneticists to focus their research on the culprits of disease," says Andrews, chair of U of T's medical genetics and microbiology department. "If we can begin to construct these kinds of networks in an intelligent way, we might directly accelerate the discovery of those genes that are lethal when combined."

The study has sparked interest among other researchers in developing techniques for mapping the genetic "neighbourhoods" of more complex organisms. "Because our global genetic network studies map out how cells work, they have implications that may help in our understanding of the bases of complex inherited diseases such as glaucoma, type II diabetes and schizophrenia" says Howard Bussey, a Professor at McGill's Dept of Biology. "We're grateful that Genome Canada and Genome Quebec had the foresight to provide $2.6 million in critical funding to enable us to undertake this pioneering work."

The study's lead authors are Amy Hin Yan Tong, a U of T graduate student in the molecular and medical genetics department, and Guillaume Lesage, a post-doctoral student at McGill. The international team included researchers at Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, the Institute of Biochemistry in Zurich, Switzerland, MRC Laboratory in Cambridge, England, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The study received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute and Genome Quebec.

Howard Bussey can be reached through Anie Perrault, Genome Canada. To reach University of Toronto researchers, please contact Elaine Smith, University of Toronto.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Yeast Mutations Offer Window Into Human Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040206090117.htm>.
McGill University. (2004, February 6). Yeast Mutations Offer Window Into Human Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040206090117.htm
McGill University. "Yeast Mutations Offer Window Into Human Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040206090117.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins