Many of the genes associated with human retinal diseases are preferentially expressed in the retina, and this has motivated a search for retina-specific genes. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Katsanis et al describe a computational approach to selecting genes that might be linked to retinopathies (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, DOI:10.1073/pnas.222409099, October 21, 2002).

They mined the human subset of the NCBI database of ESTs (dbEST) for transcripts expressed in human retinal cDNA libraries and performed an insilico subtraction to identify retina-enriched sequences. More than 900 nonredundant clusters were isolated, including many of the known retinopathy-associated genes and others that were confirmed experimentally. Katsanis et al mapped the ESTs onto the human genome and identified several candidate genes for retinopathy disorders.

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