Gene Names

Regarding your article on gene names (P. Smaglik, The Scientist, 12[7]:1, March 30, 1998), you make a couple of major errors in the yeast example. This does go to show the difficulty of different systems of nomenclature, but also, the information in your box on page 6 should be corrected. It's not just yeast, but fission yeast, S. pombe. Accepted nomenclature is not wee-1 (as you write), but wee1+. It does not make an abnormally small protein, but rather, the mutant causes the yeast to divide

Susan Forsburg
Jun 7, 1998

Regarding your article on gene names (P. Smaglik, The Scientist, 12[7]:1, March 30, 1998), you make a couple of major errors in the yeast example. This does go to show the difficulty of different systems of nomenclature, but also, the information in your box on page 6 should be corrected. It's not just yeast, but fission yeast, S. pombe. Accepted nomenclature is not wee-1 (as you write), but wee1+. It does not make an abnormally small protein, but rather, the mutant causes the yeast to divide at an abnormally small size--it's the cells that are small.

The wee1 protein has homologues in all eukaryotes and is an important kinase that regulates cell division. The correct nomenclature, if not its derivation, is readily found in the literature. If you ever require further information on fission yeast S. pombe< nomenclature, please visit our Web page at http://flosun.salk.edu/~forsburg/plasmids.html#nomenclature.

Susan...

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