[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to growing throughput and shrinking cost, massively parallel sequencing is rapidly becoming an attractive alternative to microarrays for the genome-wide study of gene expression and copy number alterations in primary tumors. The sequencing of transcripts (RNA-Seq) should offer several advantages over microarray-based methods, including the ability to detect somatic mutations and accurately measure allele-specific expression. To investigate these advantages we have applied a novel, strand-specific RNA-Seq method to tumors and matched normal tissue from three patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas. Additionally, to better understand the genomic determinants of the gene expression changes observed, we have sequenced the tumor and normal genomes of one of these patients. We demonstrate here that our RNA-Seq method accurately measures allelic imbalance and that measurement on the genome-wide scale yields novel insights into cancer etiology. As expected, the set of genes differentially expressed in the tumors is enriched for cell adhesion and differentiation functions, but, unexpectedly, the set of allelically imbalanced genes is also enriched for these same cancer-related functions. By comparing the transcriptomic perturbations observed in one patient to his underlying normal and tumor genomes, we find that allelic imbalance in the tumor is associated with copy number mutations and that copy number mutations are, in turn, strongly associated with changes in transcript abundance. These results support a model in which allele-specific deletions and duplications drive allele-specific changes in gene expression in the developing tumor.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(2):e9317. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duplications and deletions in the human genome can cause disease or predispose persons to disease. Advances in technologies to detect these changes allow for the routine identification of submicroscopic imbalances in large numbers of patients.
We tested for the presence of microdeletions and microduplications at a specific region of chromosome 1q21.1 in two groups of patients with unexplained mental retardation, autism, or congenital anomalies and in unaffected persons.
We identified 25 persons with a recurrent 1.35-Mb deletion within 1q21.1 from screening 5218 patients. The microdeletions had arisen de novo in eight patients, were inherited from a mildly affected parent in three patients, were inherited from an apparently unaffected parent in six patients, and were of unknown inheritance in eight patients. The deletion was absent in a series of 4737 control persons (P=1.1x10(-7)). We found considerable variability in the level of phenotypic expression of the microdeletion; phenotypes included mild-to-moderate mental retardation, microcephaly, cardiac abnormalities, and cataracts. The reciprocal duplication was enriched in nine children with mental retardation or autism spectrum disorder and other variable features (P=0.02). We identified three deletions and three duplications of the 1q21.1 region in an independent sample of 788 patients with mental retardation and congenital anomalies.
We have identified recurrent molecular lesions that elude syndromic classification and whose disease manifestations must be considered in a broader context of development as opposed to being assigned to a specific disease. Clinical diagnosis in patients with these lesions may be most readily achieved on the basis of genotype rather than phenotype.
New England Journal of Medicine 10/2008; 359(16):1685-99. · 51.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a recurrent microdeletion syndrome causing mental retardation, epilepsy and variable facial and digital dysmorphisms. We describe nine affected individuals, including six probands: two with de novo deletions, two who inherited the deletion from an affected parent and two with unknown inheritance. The proximal breakpoint of the largest deletion is contiguous with breakpoint 3 (BP3) of the Prader-Willi and Angelman syndrome region, extending 3.95 Mb distally to BP5. A smaller 1.5-Mb deletion has a proximal breakpoint within the larger deletion (BP4) and shares the same distal BP5. This recurrent 1.5-Mb deletion contains six genes, including a candidate gene for epilepsy (CHRNA7) that is probably responsible for the observed seizure phenotype. The BP4-BP5 region undergoes frequent inversion, suggesting a possible link between this inversion polymorphism and recurrent deletion. The frequency of these microdeletions in mental retardation cases is approximately 0.3% (6/2,082 tested), a prevalence comparable to that of Williams, Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed the SNPlex Genotyping System to address the need for accurate genotyping data, high sample throughput, study design flexibility, and cost efficiency. The system uses oligonucleotide ligation/polymerase chain reaction and capillary electrophoresis to analyze bi-allelic single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes. It is well suited for single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping efforts in which throughput and cost efficiency are essential. The SNPlex Genotyping System offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability, allowing the selection of custom-defined sets of SNPs for medium- to high-throughput genotyping projects. It is therefore suitable for a broad range of study designs. In this article we describe the principle and applications of the SNPlex Genotyping System, as well as a set of single nucleotide polymorphism selection tools and validated assay resources that accelerate the assay design process. We developed the control pool, an oligonucleotide ligation probe set for training and quality-control purposes, which interrogates 48 SNPs simultaneously. We present performance data from this control pool obtained by testing genomic DNA samples from 44 individuals. in addition, we present data from a study that analyzed 521 SNPs in 92 individuals. Combined, both studies show the SNPlex Genotyping system to have a 99.32% overall call rate, 99.95% precision, and 99.84% concordance with genotypes analyzed by TaqMan probe-based assays. The SNPlex Genotyping System is an efficient and reliable tool for a broad range of genotyping applications, supported by applications for study design, data analysis, and data management.
Journal of biomolecular techniques: JBT 01/2006; 16(4):398-406.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel microRNA (miRNA) quantification method has been developed using stem-loop RT followed by TaqMan PCR analysis. Stem-loop RT primers are better than conventional ones in terms of RT efficiency and specificity. TaqMan miRNA assays are specific for mature miRNAs and discriminate among related miRNAs that differ by as little as one nucleotide. Furthermore, they are not affected by genomic DNA contamination. Precise quantification is achieved routinely with as little as 25 pg of total RNA for most miRNAs. In fact, the high sensitivity, specificity and precision of this method allows for direct analysis of a single cell without nucleic acid purification. Like standard TaqMan gene expression assays, TaqMan miRNA assays exhibit a dynamic range of seven orders of magnitude. Quantification of five miRNAs in seven mouse tissues showed variation from less than 10 to more than 30,000 copies per cell. This method enables fast, accurate and sensitive miRNA expression profiling and can identify and monitor potential biomarkers specific to tissues or diseases. Stem-loop RT-PCR can be used for the quantification of other small RNA molecules such as short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Furthermore, the concept of stem-loop RT primer design could be applied in small RNA cloning and multiplex assays for better specificity and efficiency.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2005; 33(20):e179. · 8.28 Impact Factor