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Gene clusters in the fly genome

Jonathan B Weitzman

Genome Biology 2002, 3:spotlight-20021213-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20021213-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 December 2002

© 2002 BioMed Central Ltd

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A number of studies have provided convincing evidence that co-expressed genes are often found in clusters in the yeast, fly, worm or human genomes. In the December 12 Nature Boutanaev et al. describe additional examples of clustering of Drosophila genes (Nature 2002, 420:666-669). Analysis of available databases of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) identified 4,271 genes expressed in the testes, of which 1,661 appear to be testis-specific. Mapping each EST to the fly genome revealed that about one third of testis-specific genes are clustered; many of these clusters (45%) contain four or more genes. A notable exception was chromosome X, which showed little clustering of testis-specific genes and smaller cluster sizes. Additional EST-based analysis also showed clusters of head-specific genes and embryonic genes. Much remains to be discovered about the role of chromatin structure in the transcriptional regulation of genome clusters.


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