Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Commentary

Functional annotation and ENU

Teresa M Gunn

Author affiliations

McLaughlin Research Institute, 1520 23rd St S, Great Falls, MT, 59405, USA

Citation and License

BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:580  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-580

Published: 24 October 2012


Functional annotation of every gene in the mouse genome is a herculean task that requires a multifaceted approach. Many large-scale initiatives are contributing to this undertaking. The International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC) plans to mutate every protein-coding gene, using a combination of gene trapping and gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. Many other groups are performing using the chemical mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU) or transpon-based systems to induce mutations, screening offspring for phenovariants and identifying the causative mutations. A recent paper in BMC Research Notes by Arnold et al. presents data from an ENU-based mutagenesis project that provides not only some of the first phenotype-genotype information for a large number of genes, but also a trove of information, all publicly available, that demonstrates the specificity and efficiency of ENU mutagenesis.

Ethylnitrosourea; ENU; Mutagenesis; Mouse genetics; Functional annotation