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 Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>