Resisting viral infection: the gene by gene approach
ABSTRACT This review focuses on genes required for resistance to mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV), as identified through unbiased genetic screening. Components of the developmental, sensing, and effector pathways, functioning in multiple cell types, were detected by infecting 22,000 G3 mutant mice with MCMV at an inoculum easily contained by WT animals. Merging these findings with discoveries from hypothesis-based studies, we present a cohesive picture of the essential elements utilized by the mouse innate immune system to counter MCMV. We believe that many breakthrough discoveries will yet be made using a classical genetic approach.
SourceAvailable from: Robert Eveleigh[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Infectious diseases are responsible for over 25% of deaths globally, but many more individuals are exposed to deadly pathogens. The outcome of infection results from a set of diverse factors including pathogen virulence factors, the environment, and the genetic make-up of the host. The completion of the human reference genome sequence in 2004 along with technological advances have tremendously accelerated and renovated the tools to study the genetic etiology of infectious diseases in humans and its best characterized mammalian model, the mouse. Advancements in mouse genomic resources have accelerated genome-wide functional approaches, such as gene-driven and phenotype-driven mutagenesis, bringing to the fore the use of mouse models that reproduce accurately many aspects of the pathogenesis of human infectious diseases. Treatment with the mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) has become the most popular phenotype-driven approach. Our team and others have employed mouse ENU mutagenesis to identify host genes that directly impact susceptibility to pathogens of global significance. In this review, we first describe the strategies and tools used in mouse genetics to understand immunity to infection with special emphasis on chemical mutagenesis of the mouse germ-line together with current strategies to efficiently identify functional mutations using next generation sequencing. Then, we highlight illustrative examples of genes, proteins, and cellular signatures that have been revealed by ENU screens and have been shown to be involved in susceptibility or resistance to infectious diseases caused by parasites, bacteria, and viruses.12/2014; 5(4):887-925. DOI:10.3390/genes5040887
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ABSTRACT: High-throughput genomic data reveal thousands of gene variants per patient, and it is often difficult to determine which of these variants underlies disease in a given individual. However, at the population level, there may be some degree of phenotypic homogeneity, with alterations of specific physiological pathways underlying the pathogenesis of a particular disease. We describe here the human gene connectome (HGC) as a unique approach for human Mendelian genetic research, facilitating the interpretation of abundant genetic data from patients with the same disease, and guiding subsequent experimental investigations. We first defined the set of the shortest plausible biological distances, routes, and degrees of separation between all pairs of human genes by applying a shortest distance algorithm to the full human gene network. We then designed a hypothesis-driven application of the HGC, in which we generated a Toll-like receptor 3-specific connectome useful for the genetic dissection of inborn errors of Toll-like receptor 3 immunity. In addition, we developed a functional genomic alignment approach from the HGC. In functional genomic alignment, the genes are clustered according to biological distance (rather than the traditional molecular evolutionary genetic distance), as estimated from the HGC. Finally, we compared the HGC with three state-of-the-art methods: String, FunCoup, and HumanNet. We demonstrated that the existing methods are more suitable for polygenic studies, whereas HGC approaches are more suitable for monogenic studies. The HGC and functional genomic alignment data and computer programs are freely available to noncommercial users from http://lab.rockefeller.edu/casanova/HGC and should facilitate the genome-wide selection of disease-causing candidate alleles for experimental validation.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2013; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1218167110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
Article: Gene targeting in mice: a review.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ability to introduce DNA sequences (e.g., genes) of interest into the germline genome has rendered the mouse a powerful and indispensable experimental model in fundamental and medical research. The DNA sequences can be integrated into the genome randomly or into a specific locus by homologous recombination, in order to: (1) delete or insert mutations into genes of interest to determine their function, (2) introduce human genes into the genome of mice to generate animal models enabling study of human-specific genes and diseases, e.g., mice susceptible to infections by human-specific pathogens of interest, (3) introduce individual genes or genomes of pathogens (such as viruses) in order to examine the contributions of such genes to the pathogenesis of the parent pathogens, (4) and last but not least introduce reporter genes that allow monitoring in vivo or ex vivo the expression of genes of interest. Furthermore, the use of recombination systems, such as Cre/loxP or FRT/FLP, enables conditional induction or suppression of gene expression of interest in a restricted period of mouse's lifetime, in a particular cell type, or in a specific tissue. In this review, we will give an updated summary of the gene targeting technology and discuss some important considerations in the design of gene-targeted mice.Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 1064:315-36. DOI:10.1007/978-1-62703-601-6_23 · 1.29 Impact Factor