Building protein interaction maps for Down's syndrome.

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Humans, Protein-Interaction-Mapping, RNA-Processing-Post-Transcriptional, Research-Support-Non-U, S, -Gov't, Research-Support-U, S, -Gov't-P, H, S, Signal-Transduction

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Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic 2004 Aug; 3(2):142-56.


Now that the complete sequences for human chromosome 21 and the orthologous mouse genomic regions are known, reasonably complete, conserved, protein-coding gene catalogues are also available. The central issue now facing Down's syndrome researchers is the correlation of increased expression of specific, normal, chromosome 21 genes with the development of specific deficits in learning and memory. Because of the number of candidate genes involved, the number of alternative splice variants of individual genes and the number of pathways in which these genes function, a pathway analysis approach will be critical to success. Here, three examples, both gene specific and pathway related, that would benefit from pathway analysis are discussed: (1) the potential roles of eight chromosome 21 proteins in RNA processing pathways; (2) the chromosome 21 protein intersectin 1 and its domain composition, alternative splicing, protein interactions and functions; and (3) the interactions of ten chromosome 21 proteins with components of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and the calcineurin signalling pathways. A productive approach to developing gene-phenotype correlations in Down's syndrome will make use of known and predicted functions and interactions of chromosome 21 genes to predict pathways that may be perturbed by their increased levels of expression. Investigations may then be targeted in animal models to specific interactions, intermediate steps or end-points of such pathways and the downstream - perhaps amplified - consequences of gene dosage directly assessed. Once pathway perturbations have been identified, the potential for rational design of therapeutics becomes practical.

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