Microarray And Disease Response Genes

Studies using commercially available whole genome or targeted arrays as well as "in-house" spotted arrays have generated a wealth of information that importantly contributes to our understanding of human biology in health and disease. These studies are particularly important in addressing molecular pathways involved in organ differentiation and development. More recently, their value in screening for disease susceptibility genes and new drug targets has become evident (95-99). Indeed, the DNA microarray technique has proven to play a fundamental role in high-throughput screening of the genome. Microarrays are commonly used for global assessment of mRNA expression levels in various tissues and cell culture systems (100-107) and also for polymorphism scoring (108-111). The two major technology platforms for microarray analysis consists of: (i) spotted microarrays in which pre-synthesized single- or double-stranded DNA are bound onto glass slides and; (ii) high density oligonucleotide arrays where sets of oligomers are synthesized directly on wafers using photolabile nucleotide chemistry (95-98,112). More novel application for this technology, includes the array-based comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) (113,114) and high-density protein microarrays (115,116), which allow for assessment of protein-protein, protein-DNA, protein-RNA, and protein -ligand interactions.

As the last decade has witnessed an explosion in various applications of microarray, an attempt to cover this area thoroughly is not feasible, so the following section highlights only a few studies aiming at identifying genes that may serve as biomarkers of treatment response and also as possible new drug targets.

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