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Genomics. 2004 Jun;83(6):989-99.

T lymphocyte activation gene identification by coregulated expression on DNA microarrays.

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  • 1Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, Merck Research Laboratories, 401 Terry Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


High-capacity methods for assessing gene function have become increasingly important because of the increasing number of newly identified genes emerging from large-scale genome sequencing and cDNA cloning efforts. We investigated the use of DNA microarrays to identify uncharacterized genes specifically involved in human T cell activation. Activation of human peripheral blood T lymphocytes induced significant changes in hundreds of transcripts, but most of these were not unique to T cell activation. Variation of experimental parameters and analysis techniques allowed better enrichment for gene expression changes unique to T cell activation. Best results were achieved by identification of genes that were most highly coregulated with the T-cell-specific transcript interleukin 2 (IL2) in a "compendium" of experiments involving both T cells and other cell types. Among the genes most highly coregulated with IL2 were many genes known to function during T cell activation, together with ESTs of unknown function. Four of these ESTs were extended to novel full-length clones encoding T-cell-regulated proteins with predicted functions in GTP metabolism, cell organization, and signal transduction.

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