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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Oct;14(5):470-6.

Genome-wide high-throughput screens in functional genomics.

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Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachussets 02115, USA.


The availability of complete genome sequences from many organisms has yielded the ability to perform high-throughput, genome-wide screens of gene function. Within the past year, rapid advances have been made towards this goal in many major model systems, including yeast, worms, flies, and mammals. Yeast genome-wide screens have taken advantage of libraries of deletion strains, but RNA-interference has been used in other organisms to knockdown gene function. Examples of recent large-scale functional genetic screens include drug-target identification in yeast, regulators of fat accumulation in worms, growth and viability in flies, and proteasome-mediated degradation in mammalian cells. Within the next five years, such screens are likely to lead to annotation of function of most genes across multiple organisms. Integration of such data with other genomic approaches will extend our understanding of cellular networks.

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