Genetic interaction analysis of point mutations enables interrogation of gene function at a residue-level resolution: exploring the applications of high-resolution genetic interaction mapping of point mutations

Bioessays. 2014 Jul;36(7):706-13. doi: 10.1002/bies.201400044. Epub 2014 May 20.


We have achieved a residue-level resolution of genetic interaction mapping - a technique that measures how the function of one gene is affected by the alteration of a second gene - by analyzing point mutations. Here, we describe how to interpret point mutant genetic interactions, and outline key applications for the approach, including interrogation of protein interaction interfaces and active sites, and examination of post-translational modifications. Genetic interaction analysis has proven effective for characterizing cellular processes; however, to date, systematic high-throughput genetic interaction screens have relied on gene deletions or knockdowns, which limits the resolution of gene function analysis and poses problems for multifunctional genes. Our point mutant approach addresses these issues, and further provides a tool for in vivo structure-function analysis that complements traditional biophysical methods. We also discuss the potential for genetic interaction mapping of point mutations in human cells and its application to personalized medicine.

Keywords: E-MAP; RNA polymerase II; genetic interactions; high-throughput; point mutant; structure-function; yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epistasis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genes / physiology
  • Humans
  • Point Mutation / physiology*
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs / genetics
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics*