William C. Skarnes

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During nervous system development, spinal commissural axons project toward floor plate cells and trochlear motor axons extend away from these cells. Netrin-1, a diffusible protein made by floor plate cells, can attract spinal commissural axons and repel trochlear axons in vitro, but its role in vivo is unknown. Netrin-1 deficient mice exhibit defects in(More)
Wnt genes comprise a large family of secreted polypeptides that are expressed in spatially and tissue-restricted patterns during vertebrate embryonic development. Mutational analysis in mice has shown the importance of Wnts in controlling diverse developmental processes such as patterning of the body axis, central nervous system and limbs, and the(More)
The search to understand the mechanisms regulating brain wiring has relied on biochemical purification approaches in vertebrates and genetic approaches in invertebrates to identify molecular cues and receptors for axon guidance. Here we describe a phenotype-based gene-trap screen in mice designed for the large-scale identification of genes controlling the(More)
Gene targeting in embryonic stem cells has become the principal technology for manipulation of the mouse genome, offering unrivalled accuracy in allele design and access to conditional mutagenesis. To bring these advantages to the wider research community, large-scale mouse knockout programmes are producing a permanent resource of targeted mutations in all(More)
We describe the successful application of a modified gene-trap approach, the secretory trap, to systematically analyze the functions in vivo of large numbers of genes encoding secreted and membrane proteins. Secretory-trap insertions in embryonic stem cells can be transmitted to the germ line of mice with high efficiency and effectively mutate the target(More)
Neuropilin-1 and neuropilin-2 bind differentially to different class 3 semaphorins and are thought to provide the ligand-binding moieties in receptor complexes mediating repulsive responses to these semaphorins. Here, we have studied the function of neuropilin-2 through analysis of a neuropilin-2 mutant mouse, which is viable and fertile. Repulsive(More)
A strategy based on the gene trap was developed to prescreen mouse embryonic stem cells for insertional mutations in genes encoding secreted and membrane-spanning proteins. The "secretory trap" relies on capturing the N-terminal signal sequence of an endogenous gene to generate an active beta-galactosidase fusion protein. Insertions were found in a cadherin(More)
The BayGenomics gene-trap resource (http://baygenomics.ucsf.edu) provides researchers with access to thousands of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines harboring characterized insertional mutations in both known and novel genes. Each cell line contains an insertional mutation in a specific gene. The identity of the gene that has been interrupted can be(More)
Mouse knockout technology provides a powerful means of elucidating gene function in vivo, and a publicly available genome-wide collection of mouse knockouts would be significantly enabling for biomedical discovery. To date, published knockouts exist for only about 10% of mouse genes. Furthermore, many of these are limited in utility because they have not(More)
Polycomb Repressor Complexes (PRCs) are important regulators of embryogenesis. In embryonic stem (ES) cells many genes that regulate subsequent stages in development are enriched at their promoters for PRC1, PRC2 and Ser 5-phosphorylated RNA Polymerase II (RNAP), and contain domains of 'bivalent' chromatin (enriched for H3K4me3; histone H3 di- or(More)