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Yeast. 1999 Apr;15(6):513-26.

How to bring orphan genes into functional families.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.


In the framework of the B1 Consortium of the EUROFAN-1 project, we set up a series of simple phenotypic tests that can be performed on a large number of strains at a time. This methodological approach was intended to help assign functions of putative genes coding for unknown proteins to several specific aspects of cell biology. The tests were chosen to study phenotypes which should be affected by numerous genes. In this report, we examined the sensitivity/resistance or the adaptation of the cell to physical or chemical stresses (thermotolerance, osmotolerance and ethanol sensitivity), the effects of the alteration of the level of protein phosphorylation (sensitivity or resistance to compounds affecting the activity of protein kinases or phosphatases) and the effects of compounds interfering with synthesis of nucleic acids or proteins. Deletions in 66 genes of unknown function have been tested in 21 different conditions. In many deletant strains, phenotypes were observed and, for the most promising candidates, tetrad analysis was performed in order to verify co-segregation of the deletion marker with the phenotype.

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