In Nature this week, a team led by researchers from Sage Bionetworks and the University of Chicago report on the discovery of a gene that may determine the extent of a major adverse effect of cholesterol-lowering statins. The investigators identified a downstream target of statin treatment that regulates the expression of the gene GATM, which appears to play a role in energy storage in muscle. When this genetic locus was examined in two separate populations, it was found to be associated with statin-induce myopathy. The researchers also show that the GATM gene may be linked to cholesterol metabolism.
GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.
Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a group of scientists from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and elsewhere report on a collection of more than 3,000 human cell lines, each containing a mutation in a single gene. While single-gene knockout collections in model organisms are useful research tools, often experiments need to be carried out in human systems. To that end, the team created a platform to generate a collection of human cell lines carrying single gene-trap insertions. The library covers 3,396 genes — one-third of the expressed genome — and it is DNA-barcoded and allows systematic screens for a wide variety of cellular phenotypes.