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is a high-throughput approach that is used to introduce insertional mutations across the mammalian genome. It is performed with gene trap vectors whose principal element is a gene trapping cassette consisting of a promoterless reporter gene and/or selectable genetic marker
A genetic marker is a gene or DNA sequence with a known location on a chromosome that can be used to identify cells, individuals or species. It can be described as a variation that can be observed...
flanked by an upstream 3’ splice site (splice acceptor; SA) and a downstream transcription
Transcription is the process of creating a complementary RNA copy of a sequence of DNA. Both RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, which use base pairs of nucleotides as a complementary language that can be converted back and forth from DNA to RNA by the action of the correct enzymes...
al termination sequence (polyadenylation sequence; polyA). When inserted into an intron
An intron is any nucleotide sequence within a gene that is removed by RNA splicing to generate the final mature RNA product of a gene. The term intron refers to both the DNA sequence within a gene, and the corresponding sequence in RNA transcripts. Sequences that are joined together in the final...
of an expressed gene, the gene trap cassette is transcribed from the endogenous promoter of that gene in the form of a fusion transcript in which the exon(s) upstream of the insertion site is spliced in frame to the reporter/selectable marker gene. Since transcription is terminated prematurely at the inserted polyadenylation site, the processed fusion transcript encodes a truncated and non-functional version of the cellular protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...
and the reporter/selectable marker. Thus, gene traps simultaneously inactivate and report the expression of the trapped gene at the insertion site, and provide a DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...
tag (gene trap sequence tag, GTST) for the rapid identification of the disrupted gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...
An international public consortium International Gene Trap Consortium
is centralizing the data and cell lines can be requested from them.