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online resource when needed: gene/protein for this week: TLR2

In this homework assignment, we will explore a simple example of how biological data sets can help us research a biomedical problem in human and a model organism. Imagine that we are working in a lab and are interested in genes that are related to some disorders, disease(s) or infections associated with a particular gene/protein (this week, we assume the gene of interest is TLR2). Before conducting extensive experimental studies of this gene, we would like to use our online resources to see what we can learn about it from both human and model organism data. It is up to you to choose a model organism; the usual choices are mouse, bovine, fly, or others.

1. (1 point) It would first be helpful to gather some general facts about the function of this gene, the organism it is from. Briefly, summarize the function of this gene.

2. (2 points) There may be more known about the human homolog or model organism's homologs if the gene is human. What is the symbol for the homolog version of this gene? Does it have the same function in humans and in the model organism? (one homolog is good, we need homologous genes from two organisms, one of them human)

3. (3 point) Based on the function of the gene in humans and your model organism (mouse?), does it seem plausible that the gene variation (specifically alternative splicing) could influence the organism health? Explain your answer in a sentence or two ( explain in words without copying and pasting ).

4. (2 points) Let us assume that we are convinced the gene merits further investigation. A good next step would be to see if anyone has previously studied this gene's effects. Are there any scientific papers that discuss variants of this gene effecting health? If so, provide a reference to the most recent article you can find that supports the idea of the possible disease relations. (A reference (not a link!), it should include at least the authors and title of the paper, and the journal and year in which it appeared.)

5. (1 point) Once we are satisfied that this gene is worth pursuing experimentally, it will help to locate the genomic sequence. Identify a Genbank entry (GenBank ID) containing the gene's DNA sequence.

6. (2 points) To begin to investigate the gene, find an image of the gene structure. There can be one or more known splice forms of the gene. If you have more two splice variants, count them and choose only two for all further questions, the largest one and the smallest one.

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