Global analysis of gene function in yeast by quantitative phenotypic profiling

James A. Brown, Gavin Sherlock, Chad L. Myers, Nicola M. Burrows, Changchun Deng, H. Irene Wu, Kelly E. McCann, Olga G. Troyanskaya, J. Martin Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


We present a method for the global analysis of the function of genes in budding yeast based on hierarchical clustering of the quantitative sensitivity profiles of the 4756 strains with individual homozygous deletion of nonessential genes to a broad range of cytotoxic or cytostatic agents. This method is superior to other global methods of identifying the function of genes involved in the various DNA repair and damage checkpoint pathways as well as other interrogated functions. Analysis of the phenotypic profiles of the 51 diverse treatments places a total of 860 genes of unknown function in clusters with genes of known function. We demonstrate that this can not only identify the function of unknown genes but can also suggest the mechanism of action of the agents used. This method will be useful when used alone and in conjunction with other global approaches to identify gene function in yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermsb4100043
Pages (from-to)2006.0001
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
StatePublished - May 16 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Deletion pool
  • Functional genomics
  • Hierarchical clustering
  • Phenotypic profiling
  • Yeast


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