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Cell. 2001 Nov 30;107(5):579-89.

Comprehensive analysis of photoreceptor gene expression and the identification of candidate retinal disease genes.

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Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


To identify the full set of genes expressed by mammalian rods, we conducted serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) by using libraries generated from mature and developing mouse retina. We identified 264 uncharacterized genes that were specific to or highly enriched in rods. Nearly half of all cloned human retinal disease genes are selectively expressed in rod photoreceptors. In silico mapping of the human orthologs of genes identified in our screen revealed that 86 map within intervals containing uncloned retinal disease genes, representing 37 different loci. We expect these data will allow identification of many disease genes, and that this approach may be useful for cloning genes involved in classes of disease where cell type-specific expression of disease genes is observed.

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