A Collection of Human Single Gene Knockouts

A Collection of Human Single Gene Knockouts

In an article entitled, ‘A reversible gene trap collection empowers haploid genetics in human cells’ published in August 25, 2013, issue of Nature Methods  (DOI:10.1038/nMeth.2609), the lead author Tilmann Bürckstümmer with thirty four other associates from  Austrian biotechnology company Haplogen and the Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences  have built a library of haploid human cell lines using a technique called “gene trapping”. Functional studies of genes can be greatly aided by the use of haploid cell lines because the effects of mutations in an allele are not  masked by the other chromosome. The research group established a platform by applying gene-trap mutagenesis in near-haploid human cells to generate and isolate individual gene-trapped cells and used it to prepare a collection of human cell lines carrying single gene-trap insertions. This growing library covers 3,396 genes and reportedly allows systematic screens for a range of cellular phenotypes. The collection will continue to expand until all the genes are targeted. In theory, such a library with a complete coverage of all expressed genes (coding or non-coding genes) will offer systematically an excellent platform to study functions and actions of genes required for almost all cellular processes, such as cell cycle control, metabolism, drug resistance or sensitivity. Furthermore, this collection will fuel research in molecular medicine where the vast majority of human genes remain poorly understood and await functional characterization. [summarized by Samsad, Research Associate in the plant biotechnology Lab, Dhaka University. ]

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