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 When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>