Defining Drug Targets in Yeast Haploinsufficiency Screens: Application to Human Translational Pharmacology

Science Signaling  26 Aug 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 34, pp. pt5
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.134pt5

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A presentation from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Centennial Meeting at the Experimental Biology 2008 Meeting, San Diego, California, 5 to 9 April 2008.


A major challenge in drug discovery is to identify the cellular targets responsible for the pharmacological activity of drug candidates. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a heterozygous diploid mutant collection of ~6000 strains, in each of which one copy of a single gene is deleted, is commercially available. With this collection, it is possible to evaluate the role of each gene product in the response of cells to a drug. Drug-induced haploinsufficiency refers to the situation where a heterozygous diploid mutant is more sensitive to a drug than is the wild-type strain. Drug-induced haploinsufficiency screening has the potential to reveal pharmacological targets of drugs and those that contribute to undesired side effects, as well as gene products involved in drug transport, metabolism, or resistance. Using published studies, I present advantages and limitations of this technique and discuss its value for predicting drug targets in human cells.

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