Welcome to the PhenOxiGEn-Project.
A systems approach linking genotype and environment to phenotype:
oxidative stress response mechanisms in fission yeast.

A cell’s survival depends on its ability to mount a successful stress response when challenged by exposure to damaging agents. This response is intended to provide protection from cellular damage caused by environmental toxins such as oxidizing or alkylating agents. In particular, oxidative stress caused by an excess of reactive oxygen species, is known to damage cellular components, including proteins, lipids and DNA. Coordination of the complex and rapid stress response is central to the cell’s viability after acute exposure. In addition to environmental factors, physiological sources of reactive oxygen species require constant detoxification by many of the same mechanisms. In humans, oxidative stress is known to be involved in aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease among others. Therefore the regulation of these processes is of central importance to many aspects of human health and disease.

PhenOxiGEn intends to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the oxidative stress response by associating genetic factors to phenotype when the cell is challenged by oxidative stress. This project exploits different strains of fission yeast to study the cellular response to oxidative stress using a range of genome-wide analyses to interrogate the stress response and its regulation at different levels and under diverse genetic backgrounds. The project will substantially extend our knowledge of the genetic factors controlling stress responses. A large and coordinated body of heterogeneous quantitative data will be generated and integrated with published information. Using this data, along with new computational methods for data integration, we will be able to describe the cellular stress response at a much more comprehensive and detailed level than before. Apart from developing new experimental and computational tools for systems biology, the project will also address fundamental biological questions such as how natural genetic variability affects a cell’s ability to cope with and respond to stress, contributing to a systems-level understanding of the oxidative stress response.