Toward a cDNA map of the human genome
Korenberg JR, Chen XN, Adams MD, Venter JC
Advances in the Human Genome Project are shaping the strategies for identifying the 50,000-100,000 human genes. High-resolution genetic maps of the human genome combined with sequencing herald an era of rapid regional definition of disease genes. However, only once their chromosome band location is known will the systematic partial sequencing of thousands of random cDNA clones provide the reagents for teh rapid assessment of the genes responsible for the inherited disorders. We now present an approach to the rapid determination of map position and therefore to the creation of a transcribed map of the human genome. Sensitive fluorescence in situ hybridization has been combined with high-resolution chromosome banding and random cDNA sequencing to map 41 cDNAs with an average insert size of <2 kb to single human chromosome bands. The result provide 15 new genes, with database and functional information, as candidates for human disease. These include the large extracellular signal-related kinase (HUMERK), the ERK activator kinase (PRKMK1), a new member of the RAS oncogene family, protein phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit B alpha isoform (PPP2R2A), and a novel human gene with very high homology to a plant membrane transport family. Further, an analysis of expressed genes associated with pseudogenes showed that by using these techniques, it is possible to detect accurately the transcribed locus within a multigene or processed pseudogene family in most cases. These findings suggest that direct cDNA mapping using fluorescence in situ hybridization provides an accurate and rapid approach to the definition of a transcribed map of the human genome. This low-cost, high-resolution (2-5 Mb) mapping greatly enhances the speed with which these genes can be subsequently assigned to contigs. This assignment provides a necessary first step in understanding the relationship of the genes to both acquired and inherited human diseases.