Noncoding RNAs- the "Dark Matter" of the genome. In the post-sequencing era of the human genome, it is clear that genes play a vital role in determining health. However, most biological analysis of gene function has focused on the protein-encoding genes, which constitute a mere 1.4% of the human genome. This has left the rest of the genome mostly unexplored. This site contains resources for exploring this genomic "Dark Matter".
What is this website about? This website contains information on mouse noncoding RNA knockouts. Large numbers of evolutionarily conserved noncoding RNA genes have been targeted in the mouse, using an advanced strategy to genetically modify embryonic stem cells. This sampling will give us an important glimpse into the potential importance for microRNA genes in development and human disease, giving us a better understanding the portion of the genome that was once grossly misnamed “junk DNA”.
These mouse models could shed light on human diseases where potential protein encoding disease genes have been difficult to map within a given genetic locus. This includes autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, many types of cancers, and even neurological diseases such as depression. To access mouse data on this site, visit the miRKO DB page. As this is a moderate-throughput project, not all targets are present at all stages and the community can help move these resources and science forward.
Where can I find out more information? This project was developed in the McManus Lab in collaboration with a number of colleagues at UCSF and the Gladstone Institute. The project was published in 2012 in Cell Reports, a new open source journal. Contact Dr. McManus for any questions about this resource.
How do I obtain the reagents? Knockout vectors will become available via Addgene or by request; for now the vector maps are located on the miRKO DB page. Modified embryonic stem cell lines and mouse models are available via the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers (MMRRC)