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1.  Genome-wide assessment of the carriers involved in the cellular uptake of drugs: a model system in yeast 
BMC Biology  2011;9:70.
The uptake of drugs into cells has traditionally been considered to be predominantly via passive diffusion through the bilayer portion of the cell membrane. The recent recognition that drug uptake is mostly carrier-mediated raises the question of which drugs use which carriers.
To answer this, we have constructed a chemical genomics platform built upon the yeast gene deletion collection, using competition experiments in batch fermenters and robotic automation of cytotoxicity screens, including protection by 'natural' substrates. Using these, we tested 26 different drugs and identified the carriers required for 18 of the drugs to gain entry into yeast cells.
As well as providing a useful platform technology, these results further substantiate the notion that the cellular uptake of pharmaceutical drugs normally occurs via carrier-mediated transport and indicates that establishing the identity and tissue distribution of such carriers should be a major consideration in the design of safe and effective drugs.
PMCID: PMC3280192  PMID: 22023736
2.  Haploinsufficiency and the sex chromosomes from yeasts to humans 
BMC Biology  2011;9:15.
Haploinsufficient (HI) genes are those for which a reduction in copy number in a diploid from two to one results in significantly reduced fitness. Haploinsufficiency is increasingly implicated in human disease, and so predicting this phenotype could provide insights into the genetic mechanisms behind many human diseases, including some cancers.
In the present work we show that orthologues of Saccharomyces cerevisiae HI genes are preferentially retained across the kingdom Fungi, and that the HI genes of S. cerevisiae can be used to predict haploinsufficiency in humans. Our HI gene predictions confirm known associations between haploinsufficiency and genetic disease, and predict several further disorders in which the phenotype may be relevant. Haploinsufficiency is also clearly relevant to the gene-dosage imbalances inherent in eukaryotic sex-determination systems. In S. cerevisiae, HI genes are over-represented on chromosome III, the chromosome that determines yeast's mating type. This may be a device to select against the loss of one copy of chromosome III from a diploid. We found that orthologues of S. cerevisiae HI genes are also over-represented on the mating-type chromosomes of other yeasts and filamentous fungi. In animals with heterogametic sex determination, accumulation of HI genes on the sex chromosomes would compromise fitness in both sexes, given X chromosome inactivation in females. We found that orthologues of S. cerevisiae HI genes are significantly under-represented on the X chromosomes of mammals and of Caenorhabditis elegans. There is no X inactivation in Drosophila melanogaster (increased expression of X in the male is used instead) and, in this species, we found no depletion of orthologues to yeast HI genes on the sex chromosomes.
A special relationship between HI genes and the sex/mating-type chromosome extends from S. cerevisiae to Homo sapiens, with the microbe being a useful model for species throughout the evolutionary range. Furthermore, haploinsufficiency in yeast can predict the phenotype in higher organisms.
PMCID: PMC3058074  PMID: 21356089
3.  Nutrient control of eukaryote cell growth: a systems biology study in yeast 
BMC Biology  2010;8:68.
To elucidate the biological processes affected by changes in growth rate and nutrient availability, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome responses of chemostat cultures of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, growing at a range of growth rates and in four different nutrient-limiting conditions.
We find significant changes in expression for many genes in each of the four nutrient-limited conditions tested. We also observe several processes that respond differently to changes in growth rate and are specific to each nutrient-limiting condition. These include carbohydrate storage, mitochondrial function, ribosome synthesis, and phosphate transport. Integrating transcriptome data with proteome measurements allows us to identify previously unrecognized examples of post-transcriptional regulation in response to both nutrient and growth-rate signals.
Our results emphasize the unique properties of carbon metabolism and the carbon substrate, the limitation of which induces significant changes in gene regulation at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, as well as altering how many genes respond to growth rate. By comparison, the responses to growth limitation by other nutrients involve a smaller set of genes that participate in specific pathways.
See associated commentary
PMCID: PMC2895586  PMID: 20497545

Results 1-3 (3)