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What’s In A Brain?

  March, 26 2002 3:06
your information resource in human molecular genetics
The first report of a large-scale comparison of proteins between two mammalian species appears in Nature Genetics. A primary goal of any genome project is to discover every gene in a given species. Joachim Klose and colleagues took a walk a little further down the biochemical path by carrying out a comprehensive study of all proteins of the mouse brain ‘proteome’; all of the proteins in the mouse brain.

By extracting the protein from the brains of two different species of mice as well as from the offspring created when the two species were mated, the team was able to assess the variability in protein characteristics between the two species. They did this by physically separating the proteins according to size and electrical charge, on large gels.

Over 8,500 protein spots were visible on the gels, and surprisingly, 1,300 of them show significant variation between the two species. The researchers conclude that more than one gene contributes to the physical identity of many proteins, and that the degree of variation is considerable. Understanding which genes influence the ‘behavior’ of each protein is one of the next great challenges for geneticists: the study by Klose and colleagues provides a glimpse of its magnitude.

Author contact:

Dr Joachim Klose
Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 450 566133
E-mail: joachim.klose@charite.de

Advance publication available online.

(C) Nature Genetics press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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