Thursday, September 13, 2012
Results from the Encyclopedia of DNA
Elements consortium have provided the first systematic and comprehensive look
at how gene expression is regulated in humans. Although the data provide the
most detailed picture yet of the human genome since its complete sequencing
over a decade ago, the new information-much like the initial sequencing of the
genome-has no immediate application to drug discovery. Rather, the data provide
researchers with a more focused starting point for formulating new hypotheses
about which targets to pursue.
The University of Washington team, led
by ENCODE consortium member John Stamatoyannopoulos, combined data from prior
GWA studies and ENCODE's new information about the genome's physical
interactions to predict which genes are central to disease.
SNP off the old block
The findings suggest a slew of new
potential players in many disease categories, but proving those proteins are
bona fide targets will require independent experimental validation of the team's
findings in cell culture and animal models.
From hit to target
The challenge now is to show that
hitting the regulatory elements and their target genes implicated by
Stamatoyannopoulos' study can affect disease.
Osherovich, L. SciBX 5(36);
Published online Sept. 13, 2012
1. Maurano, M.T. et al. Science; published online Sept. 5, 2012;
Contact: John A. Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington,
2. Chen, Y. et al. Nature 452, 429-435 (2008)
S. & Osherovich, L. SciBX 2(16); doi:10.1038/scibx.2009.64
AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY), Cambridge, Mass.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), Weston, Mass.
Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS), Carlsbad, Calif.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Whitehouse Station,
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
Regulus Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, Calif.
Sage Bionetworks, Seattle, Wash.
Sangamo BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO), Richmond, Calif.
University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.