This EURExpress integrated project responds to the priority topic "Global in site gene expressions analysis in rodent models and human tissues". EURExpress integrates European skills, efforts, resources and information in the field of systematic gene expression analysis. Expression data of > 20,000 genes will be generated by RNA in site hybridisation (ISH) on E14.5 wild type marine embryos which will result in detailed description (at a cellular level) of gene expression patterns. A "transcriptome atlas" will be generated using a newly developed automated RNA ISH system. Automated scanning microscopes will collect image data which will be electronically sent out in a digital format for annotation. The latter will be performed using a web-based "virtual" microscope and entered in a hierarchical database designed to hold large amounts of image data and display them in a user-friendly format. For a subset of genes, mainly those directly involved in human diseases, expression data will also be generated by using human and murine tissue arrays. This will offer the opportunity to compare human and mouse expression patterns in adult tissues. This project builds a strong European concentration of skills in gene expression analysis and mouse geneomics. It will allow integration with existing European Projects, such as mouse mutagenesis and mouse phenotyping projects, which critically depend on detailed information on gene expression patterns. Integration of the efforts of several European laboratories will result in the standardization of methods to generate, collect and display gene expression data. Furthermore, technological expertise will be disseminated by training and exchange programs. All expression data will be made readily available to the scientific community via the EURExpress web-linked database, advancing our knowledge of gene function and having a significant impact on the identification of gene expression markers of disease processes.
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