[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic information on tumors from 50 cancer types cataloged by the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) shows that only a few well-studied driver genes are frequently mutated, in contrast to many infrequently mutated genes that may also contribute to tumor biology. Hence there has been large interest in developing pathway and network analysis methods that group genes and illuminate the processes involved. We provide an overview of these analysis techniques and show where they guide mechanistic and translational investigations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herein we provide a detailed molecular analysis of the spatial heterogeneity of clinically localized, multifocal prostate cancer to delineate new oncogenes or tumor suppressors. We initially determined the copy number aberration (CNA) profiles of 74 patients with index tumors of Gleason score 7. Of these, 5 patients were subjected to whole-genome sequencing using DNA quantities achievable in diagnostic biopsies, with detailed spatial sampling of 23 distinct tumor regions to assess intraprostatic heterogeneity in focal genomics. Multifocal tumors are highly heterogeneous for single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), CNAs and genomic rearrangements. We identified and validated a new recurrent amplification of MYCL, which is associated with TP53 deletion and unique profiles of DNA damage and transcriptional dysregulation. Moreover, we demonstrate divergent tumor evolution in multifocal cancer and, in some cases, tumors of independent clonal origin. These data represent the first systematic relation of intraprostatic genomic heterogeneity to predicted clinical outcome and inform the development of novel biomarkers that reflect individual prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae is a model for comparative developmental evolution with C. elegans. Worldwide collections of C. briggsae have implicated an intriguing history of divergence among genetic groups separated by latitude, or by restricted geography, that is being exploited to dissect the genetic basis to adaptive evolution and reproductive incompatibility. And yet, the genomic scope and timing of population divergence is unclear. We performed high-coverage whole-genome sequencing of 37 wild isolates of the nematode C. briggsae and applied a pairwise sequentially Markovian coalescent (PSMC) model to 703 combinations of genomic haplotypes to draw inferences about population history, the genomic scope of natural selection, and to compare with 40 wild isolates of C. elegans. We estimate that a diaspora of at least 6 distinct C. briggsae lineages separated from one another approximately 200 thousand generations ago, including the 'Temperate' and 'Tropical' phylogeographic groups that dominate most samples from around the world. Moreover, an ancient population split in its history 2 million generations ago, coupled with only rare gene flow among lineage groups, validates this system as a model for incipient speciation. Low versus high recombination regions of the genome give distinct signatures of population size change through time, indicative of widespread effects of selection on highly linked portions of the genome owing to extreme inbreeding by self-fertilization. Analysis of functional mutations indicates that genomic context, owing to selection that acts on long linkage blocks, is a more important driver of population variation than are the functional attributes of the individually encoded genes.
Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Genome Research 03/2015; 25(5). DOI:10.1101/gr.187237.114 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caenorhabditis elegans mutants deleted for TDP-1, an ortholog of the neurodegeneration-associated RNA-binding protein TDP-43, display only mild phenotypes. Nevertheless, transcriptome sequencing revealed that many RNAs were altered in accumulation and/or processing in the mutant. Analysis of these transcriptional abnormalities demonstrates that a primary function of TDP-1 is to limit formation or stability of double-stranded RNA. Specifically, we found that deletion of tdp-1: (1) preferentially alters the accumulation of RNAs with inherent double-stranded structure (dsRNA); (2) increases the accumulation of nuclear dsRNA foci; (3) enhances the frequency of adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing; and (4) dramatically increases the amount of transcripts immunoprecipitable with a dsRNA-specific antibody, including intronic sequences, RNAs with antisense overlap to another transcript, and transposons. We also show that TDP-43 knockdown in human cells results in accumulation of dsRNA, indicating that suppression of dsRNA is a conserved function of TDP-43 in mammals. Altered accumulation of structured RNA may account for some of the previously described molecular phenotypes (e.g., altered splicing) resulting from reduction of TDP-43 function.
The EMBO Journal 11/2014; 33(24). DOI:10.15252/embj.201488740 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fulfilling the promise of the genetic revolution requires the analysis of large datasets containing information from thousands to millions of participants. However, sharing human genomic data requires protecting subjects from potential harm. Current models rely on de-identification techniques in which privacy versus data utility becomes a zero-sum game. Instead, we propose the use of trust-enabling techniques to create a solution in which researchers and participants both win. To do so we introduce three principles that facilitate trust in genetic research and outline one possible framework built upon those principles. Our hope is that such trust-centric frameworks provide a sustainable solution that reconciles genetic privacy with data sharing and facilitates genetic research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-throughput experiments are routinely performed in modern biological studies. However, extracting meaningful results from massive experimental data sets is a challenging task for biologists. Projecting data onto pathway and network contexts is a powerful way to unravel patterns embedded in seemingly scattered large data sets and assist knowledge discovery related to cancer and other complex diseases. We have developed a Cytoscape app called "ReactomeFIViz", which utilizes a highly reliable gene functional interaction network combined with human curated pathways derived from Reactome and other pathway databases. This app provides a suite of features to assist biologists in performing pathway- and network-based data analysis in a biologically intuitive and user-friendly way. Biologists can use this app to uncover network and pathway patterns related to their studies, search for gene signatures from gene expression data sets, reveal pathways significantly enriched by genes in a list, and integrate multiple genomic data types into a pathway context using probabilistic graphical models. We believe our app will give researchers substantial power to analyze intrinsically noisy high-throughput experimental data to find biologically relevant information.
F1000 Research 09/2014; 3:146. DOI:10.12688/f1000research.4431.2
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Noonan syndrome (NS) is a relatively common genetic disorder, characterized by typical facies, short stature, developmental delay, and cardiac abnormalities. Known causative genes account for 70-80% of clinically diagnosed NS patients, but the genetic basis for the remaining 20-30% of cases is unknown. We performed next-generation sequencing on germ-line DNA from 27 NS patients lacking a mutation in the known NS genes. We identified gain-of-function alleles in Ras-like without CAAX 1 (RIT1) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MAP2K1) and previously unseen loss-of-function variants in RAS p21 protein activator 2 (RASA2) that are likely to cause NS in these patients. Expression of the mutant RASA2, MAP2K1, or RIT1 alleles in heterologous cells increased RAS-ERK pathway activation, supporting a causative role in NS pathogenesis. Two patients had more than one disease-associated variant. Moreover, the diagnosis of an individual initially thought to have NS was revised to neurofibromatosis type 1 based on an NF1 nonsense mutation detected in this patient. Another patient harbored a missense mutation in NF1 that resulted in decreased protein stability and impaired ability to suppress RAS-ERK activation; however, this patient continues to exhibit a NS-like phenotype. In addition, a nonsense mutation in RPS6KA3 was found in one patient initially diagnosed with NS whose diagnosis was later revised to Coffin-Lowry syndrome. Finally, we identified other potential candidates for new NS genes, as well as potential carrier alleles for unrelated syndromes. Taken together, our data suggest that next-generation sequencing can provide a useful adjunct to RASopathy diagnosis and emphasize that the standard clinical categories for RASopathies might not be adequate to describe all patients.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2014; 111(31). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1324128111 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumors often contain multiple subpopulations of cancerous cells defined by distinct somatic mutations. We describe a new method, PhyloWGS, which can be applied to whole-genome sequencing data from one or more tumor samples to reconstruct complete genotypes of these subpopulations based on variant allele frequencies (VAFs) of point mutations and population frequencies of structural variations. We introduce a principled phylogenic correction for VAFs in loci affected by copy number alterations and we show that this correction greatly improves subclonal reconstruction compared to existing methods. PhyloWGS is free, open-source software, available at https://github.com/morrislab/phylowgs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0602-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies indicate that high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC), the most common epithelial ovarian carcinoma histotype, originates from the fallopian tube epithelium (FTE). Risk factors for this cancer include reproductive parameters associated with lifetime ovulatory events. Ovulation is an acute inflammatory process during which the FTE is exposed to follicular fluid containing both pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules, such as interleukin-1 (IL1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and cortisol. Repeated exposure to inflammatory cytokines may contribute to transforming events in the FTE, with glucocorticoids exerting a protective effect. The global response of FTE cells to inflammatory cytokines or glucocorticoids has not been investigated. To examine the response of FTE cells and the ability of glucocorticoids to oppose this response, an immortalized human FTE cell line, OE-E6/E7, was treated with IL1β, dexamethasone (DEX), IL1β and DEX, or vehicle and genome-wide gene expression profiling was performed. IL1β altered the expression of 47 genes of which 17 were reversed by DEX. DEX treatment alone altered the expression of 590 genes, whereas combined DEX and IL1β treatment altered the expression of 784 genes. Network and pathway enrichment analysis indicated that many genes altered by DEX are involved in cytokine, chemokine, and cell cycle signaling, including NFκΒ target genes and interacting proteins. Quantitative real time RT-PCR studies validated the gene array data for IL8, IL23A, PI3 and TACC2 in OE-E6/E7 cells. Consistent with the array data, Western blot analysis showed increased levels of PTGS2 protein induced by IL1β that was blocked by DEX. A parallel experiment using primary cultured human FTE cells indicated similar effects on PTGS2, IL8, IL23A, PI3 and TACC2 transcripts. These findings support the hypothesis that pro-inflammatory signaling is induced in FTE cells by inflammatory mediators and raises the possibility that dysregulation of glucocorticoid signaling could contribute to increased risk for HGSOC.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97997. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097997 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The average size of internal translated exons, ranging from 120 to 165 nt
across metazoans, is approximately the size of the typical mononucleosome (147
nt). Genome-wide study has also shown that nucleosome occupancy is
significantly higher in exons than in introns, which might indicate that the
evolution of exon size is related to its nucleosome occupancy. By grouping
exons by the GC contents of their flanking introns, we show that the average
exon size is positively correlated with its GC content. Using the sequencing
data from direct mapping of Homo sapiens nucleosomes with limited nuclease
digestion, we show that the level of nucleosome occupancy is also positively
correlated with the exon GC content in a similar fashion. We then demonstrated
that exon size is positively correlated with their nucleosome occupancy. The
strong correlation between exon size and the nucleosome occupancy suggests that
chromatin organization may be related to the evolution of exon sizes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose:
The WormBase website, a highly curated central data repository for Caenorhabditis, has added several features to aid in the biocuration process.
WormBase now supports real-time updates for specific data and custom views and tools available only to WormBase curators while also engaging the community in the curation process.