Dana Busam

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, La Jolla, California, United States

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Publications (29)309.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: PIK3CA and PTEN mutations are prevalent in colorectal cancer (CRC), and potential markers of response to MEK inhibitors and anti-EGFR antibody therapy. Relationships between PI3K pathway mutation, clinicopathological characteristics, molecular features and prognosis remain controversial. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: 1,093 stage I-IV CRCs were screened for PIK3CA (exons 9, 20), KRAS (codons 12-13), BRAF (codon 600) mutations and microsatellite instability (MSI). PTEN (exons 3-8) and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) status were determined in 744 and 489 cases. PIK3CA data was integrated with 17 previous reports (n=5,590). RESULTS: PIK3CA and PTEN mutations were identified in 11.9% and 5.8% of CRCs. PTEN mutation was associated with proximal tumors, mucinous histology, MSI-high, CIMP-high and BRAF mutation (P<0.02). PIK3CA mutation was related to older age, proximal tumors, mucinous histology and KRAS mutation (P<0.04). In integrated cohort analysis, PIK3CA exon 9 and 20 mutations were overrepresented in proximal, CIMP-low and KRAS mutated cancers (P=0.011). Comparing PIK3CA exonic mutants, exon 20 mutation was associated with MSI-high, CIMP-high and BRAF mutation, and exon 9 mutation was associated with KRAS mutation (P=0.027). Disease-free survival for stage II/III CRCs did not differ by PI3K pathway status. CONCLUSIONS: PI3K pathway mutation is prominent in proximal colon cancers, with PIK3CA exon 20 and PTEN mutations associated with features of the sessile serrated pathway (MSI-high/CIMP-high/BRAF(mut)), and PIK3CA exon 9 (and to a lesser extent exon 20) mutation associated with features of the traditional serrated pathway (CIMP-low/KRAS(mut)) of tumorigenesis. Our data highlight the PI3K pathway as a therapeutic target in distinct CRC subtypes.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of the canonical transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway provides growth inhibitory signals in the normal intestinal epithelium. Colorectal cancers (CRCs) frequently harbor somatic mutations in the pathway members, TGFBR2 and SMAD4, but to what extent mutations in SMAD2 or SMAD3 contribute to tumorigenesis is unclear. A cohort of 744 primary CRCs and 36 CRC cell lines were sequenced for SMAD4, SMAD2 and SMAD3, and analyzed for allelic loss by SNP microarray analysis. Mutation spectra were compared between the genes, the pathogenicity of mutations was assessed and relationships with clinicopathological features were examined. The prevalence of SMAD4, SMAD2 and SMAD3 mutations in sporadic CRC was 8.6% (64/744), 3.4% (25/744) and 4.3% (32/744), respectively. A significant overrepresentation of two genetic hits was detected for SMAD4 and SMAD3, consistent with these genes acting as tumor suppressors. SMAD4 mutations were associated with mucinous histology. The mutation spectra of SMAD2 and SMAD3 were highly similar to that of SMAD4, both in mutation type and location within the encoded proteins. In silico analyses suggested the majority of the mutations were pathogenic, with most missense changes predicted to reduce protein stability or hinder SMAD complex formation. The latter altered interface residues or disrupted the phosphorylation regulated Ser-Ser-X-Ser motifs within SMAD2 and SMAD3. Functional analyses of selected mutations demonstrated reductions in SMAD3 transcriptional activity and SMAD2-SMAD4 complex formation. Joint biallelic hits in SMAD2 and SMAD3 were overrepresented and mutually exclusive to SMAD4 mutation, underlining the critical roles of these three proteins within the TGF-β signaling pathway.
    Cancer Research 11/2012; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biallelic protein-truncating mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are prevalent in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Mutations may not be fully inactivating, instead producing WNT/β-catenin signalling levels 'just-right' for tumourigenesis. However, the spectrum of optimal APC genotypes accounting for both hits, and the influence of clinicopathological features on genotype selection remain undefined. We analysed 630 sporadic CRCs for APC mutations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) using sequencing and single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays, respectively. Truncating APC mutations and/or LOH were detected in 75% of CRCs. Most truncating mutations occurred within a mutation cluster region (MCR; codons 1282-1581) leaving 1-3 intact 20 amino-acid repeats (20AARs) and abolishing all Ser-Ala-Met-Pro (SAMP) repeats. Cancers commonly had one MCR mutation plus either LOH or another mutation 5' to the MCR. LOH was associated with mutations leaving 1 intact 20AAR. MCR mutations leaving 1 vs 2-3 intact 20AARs were associated with 5' mutations disrupting or leaving intact the armadillo-repeat domain, respectively. Cancers with three hits had an over-representation of mutations upstream of codon 184, in the alternatively spliced region of exon 9, and 3' to the MCR. Microsatellite unstable cancers showed hyper-mutation at MCR mono- and di-nucleotide repeats, leaving 2-3 intact 20AARs. Proximal and distal cancers exhibited different preferred APC genotypes, leaving a total of 2 or 3 and 0 to 2 intact 20AARs, respectively. In conclusion, APC genotypes in sporadic CRCs demonstrate 'fine-tuned' interdependence of hits by type and location, consistent with selection for particular residual levels of WNT/β-catenin signalling, with different 'optimal' thresholds for proximal and distal cancers.Oncogene advance online publication, 22 October 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.486.
    Oncogene 10/2012; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    Nature 06/2012; 486(7402):215–221. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    Nature 06/2012; 486(7402):207–214. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oncogene mutations contribute to colorectal cancer development. We searched for differences in oncogene mutation profiles between colorectal cancer metastases from different sites and evaluated these as markers for site of relapse. One hundred colorectal cancer metastases were screened for mutations in 19 oncogenes, and further 61 metastases and 87 matched primary cancers were analyzed for genes with identified mutations. Mutation prevalence was compared between (a) metastases from liver (n = 65), lung (n = 50), and brain (n = 46), (b) metastases and matched primary cancers, and (c) metastases and an independent cohort of primary cancers (n = 604). Mutations differing between metastasis sites were evaluated as markers for site of relapse in 859 patients from the VICTOR trial. In colorectal cancer metastases, mutations were detected in 4 of 19 oncogenes: BRAF (3.1%), KRAS (48.4%), NRAS (6.2%), and PIK3CA (16.1%). KRAS mutation prevalence was significantly higher in lung (62.0%) and brain (56.5%) than in liver metastases (32.3%; P = 0.003). Mutation status was highly concordant between primary cancer and metastasis from the same individual. Compared with independent primary cancers, KRAS mutations were more common in lung and brain metastases (P < 0.005), but similar in liver metastases. Correspondingly, KRAS mutation was associated with lung relapse (HR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.5, P = 0.007) but not liver relapse in patients from the VICTOR trial. KRAS mutation seems to be associated with metastasis in specific sites, lung and brain, in colorectal cancer patients. Our data highlight the potential of somatic mutations for informing surveillance strategies.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(5):1122-30. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The freshwater cnidarian Hydra was first described in 1702 and has been the object of study for 300 years. Experimental studies of Hydra between 1736 and 1744 culminated in the discovery of asexual reproduction of an animal by budding, the first description of regeneration in an animal, and successful transplantation of tissue between animals. Today, Hydra is an important model for studies of axial patterning, stem cell biology and regeneration. Here we report the genome of Hydra magnipapillata and compare it to the genomes of the anthozoan Nematostella vectensis and other animals. The Hydra genome has been shaped by bursts of transposable element expansion, horizontal gene transfer, trans-splicing, and simplification of gene structure and gene content that parallel simplification of the Hydra life cycle. We also report the sequence of the genome of a novel bacterium stably associated with H. magnipapillata. Comparisons of the Hydra genome to the genomes of other animals shed light on the evolution of epithelia, contractile tissues, developmentally regulated transcription factors, the Spemann-Mangold organizer, pluripotency genes and the neuromuscular junction.
    Nature 03/2010; 464(7288):592-6. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We are developing a cross-species comparison strategy to distinguish between cancer driver- and passenger gene alteration candidates, by utilizing the difference in genomic location of orthologous genes between the human and other mammals. As an initial test of this strategy, we conducted a pilot study with human colorectal cancer (CRC) and its mouse model C57BL/6J ApcMin/+, focusing on human 5q22.2 and 18q21.1-q21.2. We first performed bioinformatics analysis on the evolution of 5q22.2 and 18q21.1-q21.2 regions. Then, we performed exon-targeted sequencing, real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and real time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses on a number of genes of both regions with both human and mouse colon tumors. These two regions (5q22.2 and 18q21.1-q21.2) are frequently deleted in human CRCs and encode genuine colorectal tumor suppressors APC and SMAD4. They also encode genes such as MCC (mutated in colorectal cancer) with their role in CRC etiology unknown. We have discovered that both regions are evolutionarily unstable, resulting in genes that are clustered in each human region being found scattered at several distinct loci in the genome of many other species. For instance, APC and MCC are within 200 kb apart in human 5q22.2 but are 10 Mb apart in the mouse genome. Importantly, our analyses revealed that, while known CRC driver genes APC and SMAD4 were disrupted in both human colorectal tumors and tumors from ApcMin/+ mice, the questionable MCC gene was disrupted in human tumors but appeared to be intact in mouse tumors. These results indicate that MCC may not actually play any causative role in early colorectal tumorigenesis. We also hypothesize that its disruption in human CRCs is likely a mere result of its close proximity to APC in the human genome. Expanding this pilot study to the entire genome may identify more questionable genes like MCC, facilitating the discovery of new CRC driver gene candidates.
    BMC Cancer 01/2010; 10:426. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pythium ultimum is a ubiquitous oomycete plant pathogen responsible for a variety of diseases on a broad range of crop and ornamental species. The P. ultimum genome (42.8 Mb) encodes 15,290 genes and has extensive sequence similarity and synteny with related Phytophthora species, including the potato blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Whole transcriptome sequencing revealed expression of 86% of genes, with detectable differential expression of suites of genes under abiotic stress and in the presence of a host. The predicted proteome includes a large repertoire of proteins involved in plant pathogen interactions, although, surprisingly, the P. ultimum genome does not encode any classical RXLR effectors and relatively few Crinkler genes in comparison to related phytopathogenic oomycetes. A lower number of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were present compared to Phytophthora species, with the notable absence of cutinases, suggesting a significant difference in virulence mechanisms between P. ultimum and more host-specific oomycete species. Although we observed a high degree of orthology with Phytophthora genomes, there were novel features of the P. ultimum proteome, including an expansion of genes involved in proteolysis and genes unique to Pythium. We identified a small gene family of cadherins, proteins involved in cell adhesion, the first report of these in a genome outside the metazoans. Access to the P. ultimum genome has revealed not only core pathogenic mechanisms within the oomycetes but also lineage-specific genes associated with the alternative virulence and lifestyles found within the pythiaceous lineages compared to the Peronosporaceae.
    Genome biology 01/2010; 11(7):R73. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified new genomic alterations in the breast cancer cell line HCC1954, using high-throughput transcriptome sequencing. With 120 Mb of cDNA sequences, we were able to identify genomic rearrangement events leading to fusions or truncations of genes including MRE11 and NSD1, genes already implicated in oncogenesis, and 7 rearrangements involving other additional genes. This approach demonstrates that high-throughput transcriptome sequencing is an effective strategy for the characterization of genomic rearrangements in cancers.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 106(6):1886-91. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and lethal type of brain cancer. To identify the genetic alterations in GBMs, we sequenced 20,661 protein coding genes, determined the presence of amplifications and deletions using high-density oligonucleotide arrays, and performed gene expression analyses using next-generation sequencing technologies in 22 human tumor samples. This comprehensive analysis led to the discovery of a variety of genes that were not known to be altered in GBMs. Most notably, we found recurrent mutations in the active site of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) in 12% of GBM patients. Mutations in IDH1 occurred in a large fraction of young patients and in most patients with secondary GBMs and were associated with an increase in overall survival. These studies demonstrate the value of unbiased genomic analyses in the characterization of human brain cancer and identify a potentially useful genetic alteration for the classification and targeted therapy of GBMs.
    Science 10/2008; 321(5897):1807-12. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is much interest in characterizing the variation in a human individual, because this may elucidate what contributes significantly to a person's phenotype, thereby enabling personalized genomics. We focus here on the variants in a person's 'exome,' which is the set of exons in a genome, because the exome is believed to harbor much of the functional variation. We provide an analysis of the approximately 12,500 variants that affect the protein coding portion of an individual's genome. We identified approximately 10,400 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in this individual, of which approximately 15-20% are rare in the human population. We predict approximately 1,500 nsSNPs affect protein function and these tend be heterozygous, rare, or novel. Of the approximately 700 coding indels, approximately half tend to have lengths that are a multiple of three, which causes insertions/deletions of amino acids in the corresponding protein, rather than introducing frameshifts. Coding indels also occur frequently at the termini of genes, so even if an indel causes a frameshift, an alternative start or stop site in the gene can still be used to make a functional protein. In summary, we reduced the set of approximately 12,500 nonsilent coding variants by approximately 8-fold to a set of variants that are most likely to have major effects on their proteins' functions. This is our first glimpse of an individual's exome and a snapshot of the current state of personalized genomics. The majority of coding variants in this individual are common and appear to be functionally neutral. Our results also indicate that some variants can be used to improve the current NCBI human reference genome. As more genomes are sequenced, many rare variants and non-SNP variants will be discovered. We present an approach to analyze the coding variation in humans by proposing multiple bioinformatic methods to hone in on possible functional variation.
    PLoS Genetics 09/2008; 4(8):e1000160. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used in directed sequencing for the discovery of novel polymorphisms. As the first step in PCR directed sequencing, effective PCR primer design is crucial for obtaining high-quality sequence data for target regions. Since current computational primer design tools are not fully tuned with stable underlying laboratory protocols, researchers may still be forced to iteratively optimize protocols for failed amplifications after the primers have been ordered. Furthermore, potentially identifiable factors which contribute to PCR failures have yet to be elucidated. This inefficient approach to primer design is further intensified in a high-throughput laboratory, where hundreds of genes may be targeted in one experiment. We have developed a fully integrated computational PCR primer design pipeline that plays a key role in our high-throughput directed sequencing pipeline. Investigators may specify target regions defined through a rich set of descriptors, such as Ensembl accessions and arbitrary genomic coordinates. Primer pairs are then selected computationally to produce a minimal amplicon set capable of tiling across the specified target regions. As part of the tiling process, primer pairs are computationally screened to meet the criteria for success with one of two PCR amplification protocols. In the process of improving our sequencing success rate, which currently exceeds 95% for exons, we have discovered novel and accurate computational methods capable of identifying primers that may lead to PCR failures. We reveal the laboratory protocols and their associated, empirically determined computational parameters, as well as describe the novel computational methods which may benefit others in future primer design research. The high-throughput PCR primer design pipeline has been very successful in providing the basis for high-quality directed sequencing results and for minimizing costs associated with labor and reprocessing. The modular architecture of the primer design software has made it possible to readily integrate additional primer critique tests based on iterative feedback from the laboratory. As a result, the primer design software, coupled with the laboratory protocols, serves as a powerful tool for low and high-throughput primer design to enable successful directed sequencing.
    BMC Bioinformatics 02/2008; 9:191. · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Presented here is a genome sequence of an individual human. It was produced from approximately 32 million random DNA fragments, sequenced by Sanger dideoxy technology and assembled into 4,528 scaffolds, comprising 2,810 million bases (Mb) of contiguous sequence with approximately 7.5-fold coverage for any given region. We developed a modified version of the Celera assembler to facilitate the identification and comparison of alternate alleles within this individual diploid genome. Comparison of this genome and the National Center for Biotechnology Information human reference assembly revealed more than 4.1 million DNA variants, encompassing 12.3 Mb. These variants (of which 1,288,319 were novel) included 3,213,401 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 53,823 block substitutions (2-206 bp), 292,102 heterozygous insertion/deletion events (indels)(1-571 bp), 559,473 homozygous indels (1-82,711 bp), 90 inversions, as well as numerous segmental duplications and copy number variation regions. Non-SNP DNA variation accounts for 22% of all events identified in the donor, however they involve 74% of all variant bases. This suggests an important role for non-SNP genetic alterations in defining the diploid genome structure. Moreover, 44% of genes were heterozygous for one or more variants. Using a novel haplotype assembly strategy, we were able to span 1.5 Gb of genome sequence in segments >200 kb, providing further precision to the diploid nature of the genome. These data depict a definitive molecular portrait of a diploid human genome that provides a starting point for future genome comparisons and enables an era of individualized genomic information.
    PLoS Biology 09/2007; 5(10):e254. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since its introduction a decade ago, whole-genome shotgun sequencing (WGS) has been the main approach for producing cost-effective and high-quality genome sequence data. Until now, the Sanger sequencing technology that has served as a platform for WGS has not been truly challenged by emerging technologies. The recent introduction of the pyrosequencing-based 454 sequencing platform (454 Life Sciences, Branford, CT) offers a very promising sequencing technology alternative for incorporation in WGS. In this study, we evaluated the utility and cost-effectiveness of a hybrid sequencing approach using 3730xl Sanger data and 454 data to generate higher-quality lower-cost assemblies of microbial genomes compared to current Sanger sequencing strategies alone.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2006; 103(30):11240-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences - PNAS. 01/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: It is now clear that tyrosine kinases represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology now provide the opportunity to survey mutational changes in cancer in a high-throughput and comprehensive manner. Here we report on the sequence analysis of members of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family in the genomes of glioblastoma brain tumors. Previous studies have identified a number of molecular alterations in glioblastoma, including amplification of the RTK epidermal growth factor receptor. We have identified mutations in two other RTKs: (i) fibroblast growth receptor 1, including the first mutations in the kinase domain in this gene observed in any cancer, and (ii) a frameshift mutation in the platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha gene. Fibroblast growth receptor 1, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha, and epidermal growth factor receptor are all potential entry points to the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase intracellular signaling pathways already known to be important for neoplasia. Our results demonstrate the utility of applying DNA sequencing technology to systematically assess the coding sequence of genes within cancer genomes.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2005; 102(40):14344-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 2.91-billion base pair (bp) consensus sequence of the euchromatic portion of the human genome was generated by the whole-genome shotgun sequencing method. The 14.8-billion bp DNA sequence was generated over 9 months from 27,271,853 high-quality sequence reads (5.11-fold coverage of the genome) from both ends of plasmid clones made from the DNA of five individuals. Two assembly strategies-a whole-genome assembly and a regional chromosome assembly-were used, each combining sequence data from Celera and the publicly funded genome effort. The public data were shredded into 550-bp segments to create a 2.9-fold coverage of those genome regions that had been sequenced, without including biases inherent in the cloning and assembly procedure used by the publicly funded group. This brought the effective coverage in the assemblies to eightfold, reducing the number and size of gaps in the final assembly over what would be obtained with 5.11-fold coverage. The two assembly strategies yielded very similar results that largely agree with independent mapping data. The assemblies effectively cover the euchromatic regions of the human chromosomes. More than 90% of the genome is in scaffold assemblies of 100,000 bp or more, and 25% of the genome is in scaffolds of 10 million bp or larger. Analysis of the genome sequence revealed 26,588 protein-encoding transcripts for which there was strong corroborating evidence and an additional approximately 12,000 computationally derived genes with mouse matches or other weak supporting evidence. Although gene-dense clusters are obvious, almost half the genes are dispersed in low G+C sequence separated by large tracts of apparently noncoding sequence. Only 1.1% of the genome is spanned by exons, whereas 24% is in introns, with 75% of the genome being intergenic DNA. Duplications of segmental blocks, ranging in size up to chromosomal lengths, are abundant throughout the genome and reveal a complex evolutionary history. Comparative genomic analysis indicates vertebrate expansions of genes associated with neuronal function, with tissue-specific developmental regulation, and with the hemostasis and immune systems. DNA sequence comparisons between the consensus sequence and publicly funded genome data provided locations of 2.1 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A random pair of human haploid genomes differed at a rate of 1 bp per 1250 on average, but there was marked heterogeneity in the level of polymorphism across the genome. Less than 1% of all SNPs resulted in variation in proteins, but the task of determining which SNPs have functional consequences remains an open challenge.
    Science 03/2001; 291(5507):1304-51. · 31.03 Impact Factor
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    Science. 02/2001; 291(5507):1304-1351.