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Connecting Mammalian Genome with Phenome by ENU Mouse Mutagenesis: Gene Combinations Specifying the Immune System




Papathanasiou, Panagiotis
Goodnow, Christopher

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Annual Reviews Inc


The human and mouse genome sequences bring closer the goal of understanding how characteristics of adult mammalian physiology and pathology are encoded by DNA. Here we review the challenge of understanding how genes specify mammalian traits, with particular focus on the cells and behavior of the immune system. Summarized is the emerging experience, advantages, and limitations of using ethylnitrosourea (ENU) to modify the mouse genome and select informative variants by phenotypic screens, yielding two main conclusions. First, ENU-induced variation provides an eminently feasible route to understanding how the genome encodes important mammalian processes without any prior assumptions about genes, their chromosomal locations, or expression patterns. Second, ENU alleles match those arising by natural variation. By changing individual protein domains or splice products, these alleles reveal separate gene functions specified through protein combinations.



Keywords: ethylnitrosourea; allelism; gene expression; gene frequency; gene function; gene location; gene sequence; genetic variability; genome; immune system; innate immunity; mouse; mutagenesis; nonhuman; phenotype; priority journal; review; RNA splicing; T lymph Allele; Genome; Mouse; Mutagenesis; Phenome; T lymphocyte



Annual Review of Genetics


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