Cell Arrays for Measuring Gene Function on a Genomic Scale
Background Even with the completion of the human genome sequence, the functions and interactions of most encoded genes have yet to be uncovered. Understanding the role of genes and gene networks underlying human development, the onset and progression of disease, and our responses to environmental stimuli is critical for the development of new and more effective drugs and healthcare interventions. Most current high-throughput genetic discovery approaches offer only indirect measurements of the contribution of genes to particular conditions or processes. Current cell chips involve arraying DNA or RNA and culturing a monolayer of identical cells across the array. There is a need to array cells of many genetic backgrounds for study and for biological applications.
Invention Description We have developed a method to directly characterize cellular responses to drug and environmental stimuli in a massively parallel manner. Automated robotics array cells into spots onto a high-density microarray, resulting in a single chip comprised of thousands of living cell variants. This platform allows automated, high-throughput microscopic imaging of cells, allowing rapid and systemic measurement of cellular response to various treatments. Synchronous treatment of this "cell chip" allows the responses of all cellular variants to single or multiple stimuli to be measured in parallel. The assay results show the effects of contributions of genetic, drug, or environmental input on cellular morphology and physiology. This method promises to speed the discovery of new drugable targets using relevant cellular models, while simultaneously allowing the cellular impact of drugs, including toxicity, to be assessed in a parallel manner.
Produces scaleable, rapid, automatable analyses Able to characterize the phenotype of thousands of genetically distinct cells Applicable to many types of cells Requires minimal use of reagents on the chips Provides for comprehensive network analysis of genes and their function
Can determine gene function, cellular response, and drug action Independent of existing gene expression profiling Independent of sequence-based methods
Market Potential/Applications An application for this technology is rapid and systemic evaluation of gene function, cellular response, and drug action. Additionally, this technology can be used for drug target identification and for measuring the response of cells to drug treatment, including cellular toxicity.
IP Status One U.S. patent application filed
UT Researcher Edward Marcotte, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Vishwanath Iyer, Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin Andrew Ellington, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Jonathan Davies, ICMB, The University of Texas at Austin Wei Niu, M.S., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Alex Scouras, Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Rammohan Narayanaswamy, M.S., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin
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