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Genes Dev. 2007 Jan 15;21(2):148-59. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Modeling complex genetic interactions in a simple eukaryotic genome: actin displays a rich spectrum of complex haploinsufficiencies.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA.


Multigenic influences are major contributors to human genetic disorders. Since humans are highly polymorphic, there are a high number of possible detrimental, multiallelic gene pairs. The actin cytoskeleton of yeast was used to determine the potential for deleterious bigenic interactions; approximately 4800 complex hemizygote strains were constructed between an actin-null allele and the nonessential gene deletion collection. We found 208 genes that have deleterious complex haploinsufficient (CHI) interactions with actin. This set is enriched for genes with gene ontology terms shared with actin, including several actin-binding protein genes, and nearly half of the CHI genes have defects in actin organization when deleted. Interactions were frequently seen with genes for multiple components of a complex or with genes involved in the same function. For example, many of the genes for the large ribosomal subunit (RPLs) were CHI with act1Delta and had actin organization defects when deleted. This was generally true of only one RPL paralog of apparently duplicate genes, suggesting functional specialization between ribosomal genes. In many cases, CHI interactions could be attributed to localized defects on the actin protein. Spatial congruence in these data suggest that the loss of binding to specific actin-binding proteins causes subsets of CHI interactions.

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