Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New genetic tool helps researchers to analyse cells’ most important functions

12.04.2011
Although it has been many years since the human genome was first mapped, there are still many genes whose function we do not understand. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the University of Toronto, Canada, have teamed up to produce and characterize a collection of nearly 800 strains of yeast cells that make it possible to study even the most complicated of genes.

One common way of studying the role of genes in cells is to remove a gene and investigate the effect of the loss. Genes are very similar in both yeast and people, which is one reason why the baker’s and brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become a firm favourite with geneticists – and in yeast it is easy to make this kind of genetic change.

However, this does not work for many genes as the loss causes the cells to die. These are known as essential genes and are therefore difficult to study. This is a major problem for researchers as essential genes are often involved in crucial life processes. These essential genes are also the most well-conserved over long evolutionary distances, like between humans and yeast.

Together with researchers from the University of Toronto, Anders Blomberg and Jonas Warringer from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology have produced a collection of nearly 800 strains of yeast cells where the function of these essential genes can be studied. This new genetic tool is now being made available to other researchers.

“The trick is to use temperature-sensitive mutants for the genes you want to study,” says professor Anders Blomberg. “These mutants have amino acid changes, which make the resultant protein sensitive to higher temperatures but able to function normally at normal temperatures. And at intermediary temperatures one can set the desired activity of the mutant protein.”

The Gothenburg researchers have worked for many years on characterising the changes in yeast mutants that result from genetic changes or environmental factors automatically and on a large scale. They will continue to develop and characterize the new collection of yeast cells to facilitate the systematic analysis of the function of all essential genes.

The applications of this genetic tool are exemplified in an article published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.

Bibliographic data:
Journal: Nature Biotechnology
Title: Systematic exploration of essential yeast gene function with temperature-sensitive mutants

Authors: Zhijian Li, Franco J Vizeacoumar, Sondra Bahr, Jingjing Li, Jonas Warringer, Frederick S Vizeacoumar, Renqiang Min, Benjamin VanderSluis, Jeremy Bellay, Michael DeVit, James A Fleming, Andrew Stephens, Julian Haase, Zhen-Yuan Lin, Anastasia Baryshnikova, Hong Lu, Zhun Yan, Ke Jin, Sarah Barker, Alessandro Datti, Guri Giaever, Corey Nislow, Chris Bulawa, Chad L Myers, Michael Costanzo, Anne-Claude Gingras, Zhaolei Zhang

For more information, please contact:
Anders Blomberg, professor, Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, tel: +46 (0)31 786 2589

anders.blomberg@cmb.gu.se

Jonas Warringer, Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, tel: +46 (0)31 786 3961

jonas.warringer@cmb.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v29/n4/full/nbt.1832.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>