Karen L Novik

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (11)204.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: DNA repair gene polymorphisms and mutations are known to influence cancer risk. We studied whether polymorphisms in DNA double strand break (DSB) repair genes are associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk. Up to 1,600 cases and 4,241 controls from 4 separate genetic association studies from 3 countries were genotyped for 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 6 genes (BRCA1, NBS1, RAD51, RAD52, XRCC2 and XRCC3) involved in homologous recombination of DNA double strand breaks. Genotype specific risks were estimated as odds ratios (OR) by unconditional logistic regression. No association was detected between EOC risk and BRCA1 Q356R, BRCA1 P871L, RAD51 g135c, RAD51 g172t, RAD52 c2259t, NBS1 L34L, NBS1 E185Q, NBS1 A399A, NBS1 P672P, XRCC2 g4324c, XRCC2 c41657t and XRCC3 T241M. The XRCC2 R188H polymorphism was associated with a modest reduction in EOC risk: OR for heterozygotes was 0.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.7-1.0) and for rare homozygotes 0.3 (0.1-0.9). The XRCC3 a4541g polymorphism, situated in the 5'UTR, and the intronic XRCC3 a17893g polymorphism were not associated with EOC risk in general, but when the serous EOC subset only was analysed, the OR for heterozygotes for a4541g was 1.0 (0.9-1.2) and for the rare homozygotes 0.5 (0.3-0.9). For the XRCC3 a17893g polymorphism, the OR for the heterozygotes and the rare homozygotes were 0.8 (0.7-0.9) and 0.9 (0.7-1.2), respectively. In our study, some polymorphisms in XRCC2 and XRCC3 genes were associated with EOC risk. Further research on the role of these genes on epithelial ovarian cancer is warranted.
    International Journal of Cancer 12/2005; 117(4):611-8. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Human Epigenome Project aims to identify, catalogue, and interpret genome-wide DNA methylation phenomena. Occurring naturally on cytosine bases at cytosine-guanine dinucleotides, DNA methylation is intimately involved in diverse biological processes and the aetiology of many diseases. Differentially methylated cytosines give rise to distinct profiles, thought to be specific for gene activity, tissue type, and disease state. The identification of such methylation variable positions will significantly improve our understanding of genome biology and our ability to diagnose disease. Here, we report the results of the pilot study for the Human Epigenome Project entailing the methylation analysis of the human major histocompatibility complex. This study involved the development of an integrated pipeline for high-throughput methylation analysis using bisulphite DNA sequencing, discovery of methylation variable positions, epigenotyping by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry, and development of an integrated public database available at http://www.epigenome.org. Our analysis of DNA methylation levels within the major histocompatibility complex, including regulatory exonic and intronic regions associated with 90 genes in multiple tissues and individuals, reveals a bimodal distribution of methylation profiles (i.e., the vast majority of the analysed regions were either hypo- or hypermethylated), tissue specificity, inter-individual variation, and correlation with independent gene expression data.
    PLoS Biology 01/2005; 2(12):e405. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sequence of the human genome encodes the genetic instructions for human physiology, as well as rich information about human evolution. In 2001, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium reported a draft sequence of the euchromatic portion of the human genome. Since then, the international collaboration has worked to convert this draft into a genome sequence with high accuracy and nearly complete coverage. Here, we report the result of this finishing process. The current genome sequence (Build 35) contains 2.85 billion nucleotides interrupted by only 341 gaps. It covers approximately 99% of the euchromatic genome and is accurate to an error rate of approximately 1 event per 100,000 bases. Many of the remaining euchromatic gaps are associated with segmental duplications and will require focused work with new methods. The near-complete sequence, the first for a vertebrate, greatly improves the precision of biological analyses of the human genome including studies of gene number, birth and death. Notably, the human genome seems to encode only 20,000-25,000 protein-coding genes. The genome sequence reported here should serve as a firm foundation for biomedical research in the decades ahead.
    Nature 10/2004; 431:931-945. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sequence of the human genome encodes the genetic instructions for human physiology, as well as rich information about human evolution. In 2001, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium reported a draft sequence of the euchromatic portion of the human genome. Since then, the international collaboration has worked to convert this draft into a genome sequence with high accuracy and nearly complete coverage. Here, we report the result of this finishing process. The current genome sequence (Build 35) contains 2.85 billion nucleotides interrupted by only 341 gaps. It covers approximately 99% of the euchromatic genome and is accurate to an error rate of approximately 1 event per 100,000 bases. Many of the remaining euchromatic gaps are associated with segmental duplications and will require focused work with new methods. The near-complete sequence, the first for a vertebrate, greatly improves the precision of biological analyses of the human genome including studies of gene number, birth and death. Notably, the human genome seems to encode only 20,000-25,000 protein-coding genes. The genome sequence reported here should serve as a firm foundation for biomedical research in the decades ahead.
    Nature. 10/2004; 21(431):931.
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    Nature 10/2004; 431(7011):931-945. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reports suggest a relationship between circulating sex hormone levels and breast cancer risk, but genetic association studies have been inconclusive. We investigated the association between levels of sex hormones and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes coding for the enzymes that regulate them. We assayed circulating levels of estradiol, testosterone, estrone, androstenedione, 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in 1975 normal postmenopausal women. Fifteen SNPs in the CYP17, CYP19, EDH17B2, SHBG, COMT, and CYP1B1 genes were genotyped in these postmenopausal women and in a breast cancer case-control study. Associations of genotypes with breast cancer risk were evaluated in the case-control study and with hormone levels in the postmenopausal women using multiple linear regression with assay batch, body mass index, parity, peri- or postmenopausal status, and age band as covariates. CYP19 SNPs (rs10046 and [TCT]+/-) were associated with differences in estradiol level (P =.0006 and P =.0003, respectively) and the estradiol : testosterone ratio (P =.000001() and P =.002). SNP rs10046 explained 1.6% of the variance (r2) in the estradiol : testosterone ratio. SHBG SNPs (5' untranslated region [5'UTR] g-a and D356N) were associated with both SHBG levels (P<10(-6) and P =.005) and the estradiol : SHBG ratio (P =().000008() and P =.01). These SNPs explained 2.4% and 0.6% of the variance in SHBG levels, respectively. SNPs in the other genes were not associated with differences in any hormone levels, and none were statistically significantly associated with breast cancer risk. Genetic variation in CYP19 and SHBG contributes to variance in circulating hormone levels between postmenopausal women, but low r2 values may explain why these genes have given inconclusive results in breast cancer case-control studies.
    CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 06/2004; 96(12):936-45. · 14.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome 6 is a metacentric chromosome that constitutes about 6% of the human genome. The finished sequence comprises 166,880,988 base pairs, representing the largest chromosome sequenced so far. The entire sequence has been subjected to high-quality manual annotation, resulting in the evidence-supported identification of 1,557 genes and 633 pseudogenes. Here we report that at least 96% of the protein-coding genes have been identified, as assessed by multi-species comparative sequence analysis, and provide evidence for the presence of further, otherwise unsupported exons/genes. Among these are genes directly implicated in cancer, schizophrenia, autoimmunity and many other diseases. Chromosome 6 harbours the largest transfer RNA gene cluster in the genome; we show that this cluster co-localizes with a region of high transcriptional activity. Within the essential immune loci of the major histocompatibility complex, we find HLA-B to be the most polymorphic gene on chromosome 6 and in the human genome.
    Nature 11/2003; 425(6960):805-11. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome 6 is a metacentric chromosome that constitutes about 6% of the human genome. The finished sequence comprises 166,880,988 base pairs, representing the largest chromosome sequenced so far. The entire sequence has been subjected to high-quality manual annotation, resulting in the evidence-supported identification of 1,557 genes and 633 pseudogenes. Here we report that at least 96% of the protein-coding genes have been identified, as assessed by multi-species comparative sequence analysis, and provide evidence for the presence of further, otherwise unsupported exons/genes. Among these are genes directly implicated in cancer, schizophrenia, autoimmunity and many other diseases. Chromosome 6 harbours the largest transfer RNA gene cluster in the genome; we show that this cluster co-localizes with a region of high transcriptional activity. Within the essential immune loci of the major histocompatibility complex, we find HLA-B to be the most polymorphic gene on chromosome 6 and in the human genome.
    Nature 10/2003; 425(6960):805-811. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The BRCA2 372 HH genotype defined by the BRCA2 N372H nonconservative amino acid substitution polymorphism was recently reported to be associated with a small increased risk of breast cancer. We investigated whether this polymorphism was associated with ovarian cancer risk by conducting British and Australian case-control comparisons in parallel, including a total sample of 1,121 ovarian cancer cases and 2,643 controls. There was no difference in genotype frequency between control groups from the 2 studies (p = 0.9). The HH genotype was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer in both studies, and the risk estimate for the pooled studies was 1.36 (95% CI 1.04-1.77, p = 0.03). There was also a suggestion that this risk may be greater for ovarian cancers of the serous subtype for both studies, with an OR (95% CI) of 1.66 (1.17-2.54) for the 2 studies combined (p = 0.005). The BRCA2 372 HH genotype appears to be associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer of a similar magnitude to that reported for breast cancer.
    International Journal of Cancer 02/2003; 103(3):427-30. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenetics is one of the key areas of future research that can elucidate how genomes work. It combines genetics and the environment to address complex biological systems such as the plasticity of our genome. While all nucleated human cells carry the same genome, they express different genes at different times. Much of this is governed by epigenetic changes resulting in differential methylation of our genome--or different epigenomes. Individual studies over the past decades have already established the involvement of DNA methylation in imprinting, gene regulation, chromatin structure, genome stability and disease, especially cancer. Now, in the wake of the Human Genome Project (HGP), epigenetic phenomena can be studied genome-wide and are giving rise to a new field, epigenomics. Here, we review the current and future potential of this field and introduce the pilot study towards the Human Epigenome Project (HEP).
    Current issues in molecular biology 11/2002; 4(4):111-28. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We performed genetic association studies in a population-based breast cancer case-control study analysing polymorphisms in genes involved in homologous recombination (NBS1, RAD52, RAD51, XRCC2 and XRCC3) and non-homologous end-joining (KU70/80 and LIG4). These DNA double-strand break repair genes are candidates for breast cancer susceptibility. Genotype results were available for up to 2205 cases and 1826 controls. In the homologous recombination (HR) pathway, genotype frequencies differed between cases and controls for two polymorphisms in XRCC3; T241M (P=0.015) and IVS5 A>G at nt 17893 (P=0.008). Homozygous carriers of M241 were associated with an increased risk [odds ratio (OR) MM versus TT=1.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.6)], while the rare allele of IVS5A>G was associated with a dominant protective effect [OR AG versus AA=0.8 (0.7-0.9)]. The association of a rare variant in XRCC2 (R188H) was marginally significant [P=0.07; OR HH versus RR=2.6 (1.0-6.7)]. In the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, a polymorphism in LIG4 (T>C at nt 1977) was associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk [P=0.09; OR CC versus TT=0.7 (0.4-1.0)]. No significant association was found for 12 other polymorphisms in the other genes studied. For XRCC3, we found evidence for four common haplotypes and four rarer ones that appear to have arisen by recombination. Two haplotypes, AGC and GGC, were associated with non-significant reductions in breast cancer risk, and the rare GAT haplotype was associated with a significantly increased risk. These data provide some evidence that variants in XRCC2 and LIG4 alter breast cancer risk, together with stronger evidence that variants of XRCC3 are associated with risk. If these results can be confirmed, understanding the functional basis should improve our understanding of the role of DNA repair in breast carcinogenesis.
    Human Molecular Genetics 06/2002; 11(12):1399-407. · 7.69 Impact Factor