The institute consists of genomics, bioinformatics, and biological technology laboratories. Projects include high speed sequencing of full-length cDNAs, detection of evolutionary and functional relationships using bioinformatics, and use of novel experimental technologies (such as DNA chips) to elucidate the functions of genes considered to be of particular interest.
A recent major target of the worldwide genome project has been human gene cloning using full
length cDNAs and their functional analysis as related to human health and disease. Our Genomics
Department combines established methods for high-throughput cloning of complete full length
cDNAs and identifying gene functions. Bioinformatics support includes performance of sequence
analyses and functional predictions of new genes. The Biological Technology Department
supports genomics efforts by developing experimental methods for evaluating gene function and
gene functional analysis of biological mechanisms through gene expression profiles and other
A unique set of full-length cDNA clones would be a powerful tool for exploring the functional
analysis of genes. In collaboration with S. Sugano (University of Tokyo) we have developed an
efficient method for cloning full-length cDNAs by the oligo-cap method (Maruyama, K. and S.
Sugano, Gene 138:171-174, 1994). Using this approach, full-length-enriched
cDNA libraries are constructed from cultured cells and tissues. A mammalian expression
vector is used for direct applications to functional analyses in biological assays. We are now
analyzing the 5' and 3'ends of the cDNA clones and performing full cDNA sequencing as shown in
Helix Full-Length cDNA Project for High-Throughput Functional Analysis
Helix Research Institute, Inc.
1532-3 Yana, Kisarazu, Chiba 292, Japan
Tel +81-438-52-3951; FAX: -3952