Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Essential genes for embryogenesis uncovered in major mouse mutagenesis project

15.07.2005


A team of scientists led by Cornell University’s Dr. John Schimenti reports today that an extraordinary number of genes are required for prenatal mammalian development. The researchers estimate that up to 19% of all genes are vital for embryogenesis in mice. Their study, which is one of the largest functional genomics projects described to date, is published in today’s online edition of the journal Genome Research.



In addition to the important implications for understanding mammalian developmental biology and the genetic basis for spontaneous abortions, the impressive scale of the study – an enormous logistical effort spanning the past six years – marks a major step forward in the functional annotation of the mouse genome.

"Due to the availability of whole-genome sequences, we are now in the powerful position of knowing the sequence identity of most genes, their locations in the genome, their expression patterns, and which proteins interact with one another," explains Schimenti. "However, identifying the functions of these genes is a much more difficult challenge. For most genes, direct experimentation in the context of a whole organism will be required."


In an effort to explore the functional content of 50 megabases of mouse chromosome 5, or approximately 2% of the genome, Schimenti and his colleagues generated over 1000 mouse pedigrees with random mutations using a chemical called N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). They then screened offspring from these pedigrees for lethality and defects in behavior, fertility, fitness, hearing, and vision.

Of 42 mutations identified, an overwhelming majority – 34 mutations – resulted in embryonic lethality. The scientists attributed the lethality to defects in processes including cellular proliferation, gastrulation, cardiovascular function, craniofacial development, neural tube development, and placental development.

Combining their data with estimates from previous studies, the researchers predicted that between 13.7% and 19% of all mouse genes are necessary for embryonic viability. In comparison, research on other organisms has indicated that 6-10% of zebrafish genes and 7% of C. elegans genes are required for prenatal survival. "The higher percentage of embryonic lethal genes in mice may reflect an inherently more complex or sensitive process of development," report the scientists.

The project included major contributions from Schimenti’s collaborators at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA) and The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME), where the study was initiated.

Maria A. Smit | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

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 >>>