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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human-mouse comparative genomics: Successes and failures to reveal functional regions of the human genome


Deciphering the genetic code embedded within the human genome remains a significant challenge despite the human genome consortium's recent success at defining its linear sequence (Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001). While useful strategies exist to identify a large percentage of protein encoding regions, efforts to accurately define functional sequences in the remaining ~97% of the genome lag. Our primary interest has been to utilize the evolutionary relationship and the universal nature of genomic sequence information in vertebrates to reveal functional elements in the human genome. This has been achieved through the combined use of vertebrate comparative genomics to pinpoint highly conserved sequences as candidates for biological activity and transgenic mouse studies to address the functionality of defined human DNA fragments. Accordingly, we describe strategies and insights into functional sequences in the human genome through the use of comparative genomics coupled with functional studies in the mouse.

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