Center for Genomics Publishes a New Article Entitled: Choose your Yeast Strain Carefully: the RAD5 Gene Matters

Prof. Sherif El-Khamisy, Director of the Center for Genomics (CG) and CG postdoctoral fellow Dr. Menattallah Elserafy have published an article entitled “Choose your yeast strain carefully: the RAD5 gene matters” in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. The journal impact factor is 46.6, which ranks the first among all Cell Biology journals worldwide.


The article addresses a very important issue that was not properly handled previously. Budding yeast has been established as a model organism to study cellular processes for decades. Sharing around 30% of the human genes, yeast has contributed to major scientific discoveries that transformed clinical research and our understanding of diseases. Several of the findings have led to Nobel prizes due to their major contribution to understanding the humans’ biology and aging. CG director El-Khamisy and colleagues successfully employed yeast genetic-based screens to discover novel players in genomic medicine and their role in the Egyptian population (e.g. Nature 2009 and Nature Genetics 2014).


During the past 20 years, several contradictory findings have been reported by yeast researchers as a result of the use of different background strains. Nevertheless, no scientific article has been published that discusses the issue openly. Therefore, the article is the first to discuss this matter in depth and encourage researchers to choose the yeast strains they experiment on very carefully to avoid data misinterpretation and lack of reproducibility. Accurate interpretation of experiments performed on yeast is crucial for the understanding of humans’ biology and disease.