Sources of inherited diseases may emerge with map of complex gene interactions

In yeast, only one in five genes is essential…however, if a pair of nonessential genes is removed—sometimes, death comes quickly.

Can we use what happens when a pair of genes is destroyed to find out their function? This is the question that Charles Boone and Brenda Andrews, biologists at the University of Toronto, began to ask themselves….

[The researchers] found 550,000 pairs that, when removed, result in sickness or death. This network of genetic connections reveals a previously hidden scaffolding that underlies the operation of the cell.

With the new information[,]…researchers will be able to look up the genes they study and perhaps find that they have connections that have never been noticed before.

[T]he yeast work has implications for human cells, which share many of the same biological mechanisms. Errors in multiple genes most likely underlie hereditary diseases that cannot be pinpointed to a single causal gene…People with an illness might have constellations of mutations in related pathways, and researchers are only beginning to untangle such cases.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Uncovering Cells’ Hidden Genetic Scaffolding

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