Chimera (EST)

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In genetics, a chimera is a single cDNA sequence originating from two transcripts. It is usually considered to be a contaminant in transcript and expressed sequence tag (EST) databases.[1] It is estimated that approximately 1% of all transcripts in the National Center for Biotechnology Information's Unigene database contain a "chimeric sequence".[2]

Methods have been devised to detect them, such as the Ribosomal Database Project's CHECK_CHIMERA program.[3] However, in protein engineering, "chimeragenesis (forming chimeras between proteins that are encoded by homologous cDNAs)"[4] is one of the "two major techniques used to manipulate cDNA sequences".[4]


  • "The first mRNA transcript isolated for..." the human gene C2orf3 "...was part of an artificial chimera..."
  • CYP2C17 was thought to be a human gene, but " now considered an artefact based on a chimera of CYP2C18 and CYP2C19."[5]
  • Researchers have created receptor chimeras in their studies of Oncostatin M.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unneberg, P; Claverie, JM; Hoheisel, Jörg (2007). Hoheisel, Jörg, ed. "Tentative Mapping of Transcription-Induced Interchromosomal Interaction using Chimeric EST and mRNA Data". PLoS ONE. 2 (2): e254. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000254. PMC 1804257. PMID 17330142. open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ Charlie Nelson. "EST Assembly for the Creation of Oligonucleotide Probe Targets" (PDF). Agilent Technologies. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  3. ^ Maidak, B. (1996). "The Ribosomal Database Project (RDP)". Nucleic Acids Research. 24 (1): 82. doi:10.1093/nar/24.1.82. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Lajtha, Abel; E. A. Reith, Maarten (2007). Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology Neural Membranes and Transport. Boston, MA: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. p. 485. ISBN 0-387-30347-2. p. 424
  5. ^ "Entrez Gene: CYP2C18 cytochrome P450, family 2, subfamily C, polypeptide 18". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved May 12, 2009.