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Genetics. 2005 Apr;169(4):1915-25. Epub 2005 Feb 16.

Mechanisms of haploinsufficiency revealed by genome-wide profiling in yeast.

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Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.


Haploinsufficiency is defined as a dominant phenotype in diploid organisms that are heterozygous for a loss-of-function allele. Despite its relevance to human disease, neither the extent of haploinsufficiency nor its precise molecular mechanisms are well understood. We used the complete set of Saccharomyces cerevisiae heterozygous deletion strains to survey the genome for haploinsufficiency via fitness profiling in rich (YPD) and minimal media to identify all genes that confer a haploinsufficient growth defect. This assay revealed that approximately 3% of all approximately 5900 genes tested are haploinsufficient for growth in YPD. This class of genes is functionally enriched for metabolic processes carried out by molecular complexes such as the ribosome. Much of the haploinsufficiency in YPD is alleviated by slowing the growth rate of each strain in minimal media, suggesting that certain gene products are rate limiting for growth only in YPD. Overall, our results suggest that the primary mechanism of haploinsufficiency in yeast is due to insufficient protein production. We discuss the relevance of our findings in yeast to human haploinsufficiency disorders.

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