Guy Cavet

InPharmatics, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (31)503.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Inferring functional consequences is a bottleneck in high-throughput cancer mutation discovery and genetic association studies. Most polymorphisms and germline mutations are unlikely to have functionally significant consequences. Most cancer somatic mutations do not contribute to tumorigenesis and are not under selective pressure. Identifying and understanding functionally important mutations can clarify disease biology and lead to new therapeutic and diagnostic opportunities. We investigated the extent to which protein mutations with functional consequences are enriched in clusters at conserved positions across related proteins. We found that disease-causing mutations form clusters more than random mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms, confirming that mutation hotspots occur at the domain level. In addition to helping to identify functionally significant mutations, analysis of clustered mutations can indicate the mechanism and consequences for protein function. Our analysis focused on somatic cancer mutations suggests functional impact for many, including singleton mutations in FGFR1, FGFR3, GFI1B, PIK3CG, RALB, RAP2B, and STK11. This provides evidence and generates mechanistic hypotheses for the contribution of such mutations to cancer. The same approach can be applied to mutations suspected of involvement in other diseases. An interactive Web application for browsing mutation clusters is available at http://www.mcluster.org.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: The insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) pathway is required for the maintenance of the transformed phenotype in neoplastic cells and hence has been the subject of intensive drug discovery efforts. A key aspect of successful clinical development of targeted therapies directed against IGF-IR will be identification of responsive patient populations. Toward that end, we have endeavored to identify predictive biomarkers of response to an anti-IGF-IR-targeting monoclonal antibody in preclinical models of breast and colorectal cancer. We find that levels of the IGF-IR itself may have predictive value in these tumor types and identify other gene expression predictors of in vitro response. Studies in breast cancer models suggest that IGF-IR expression is both correlated and functionally linked with estrogen receptor signaling and provide a basis for both patient stratification and rational combination therapy with antiestrogen-targeting agents. In addition, we find that levels of other components of the signaling pathway such as the adaptor proteins IRS1 and IRS2, as well as the ligand IGF-II, have predictive value and report on the development of a pathway-focused panel of diagnostic biomarkers that could be used to test these hypotheses during clinical development of IGF-IR-targeting therapies.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Although activating mutations and gains in copy number are key mechanisms for oncogene activation, the relationship between the two is not well understood. In this study, we focused on KRAS copy gains and mutations in non-small cell lung cancer. We found that KRAS copy gains occur more frequently in tumors with KRAS activating mutations and are associated with large increases in KRAS expression. These copy gains tend to be more focal in tumors with activating mutations than in those with wild-type KRAS. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed that some tumors have homogeneous low-level gains of the KRAS locus, whereas others have high-level amplification of KRAS, often in only a fraction of tumor cells. Associations between activating mutation and copy gains were also observed for other oncogenes (EGFR in non-small cell lung cancer, BRAF and NRAS in melanoma). Activating mutations were associated with copy gains only at the mutated oncogene locus but not other oncogene loci. However, KRAS activating mutations in colorectal cancer were not associated with copy gains. Future work is warranted to clarify the relationship among the different mechanisms of oncogene activation.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Molecular Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: The pathways underlying basal-like breast cancer are poorly understood, and as yet, there is no approved targeted therapy for this disease. We investigated the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors as targeted therapies for basal-like breast cancer. We used pharmacogenomic analysis of a large panel of breast cancer cell lines with detailed accompanying molecular information to identify molecular predictors of response to a potent and selective inhibitor of MEK and also to define molecular mechanisms underlying combined MEK and PI3K targeting in basal-like breast cancer. Hypotheses were confirmed by testing in multiple tumor xenograft models. We found that basal-like breast cancer models have an activated RAS-like transcriptional program and show greater sensitivity to a selective inhibitor of MEK compared with models representative of other breast cancer subtypes. We also showed that loss of PTEN is a negative predictor of response to MEK inhibition, that treatment with a selective MEK inhibitor caused up-regulation of PI3K pathway signaling, and that dual blockade of both PI3K and MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling synergized to potently impair the growth of basal-like breast cancer models in vitro and in vivo. Our studies suggest that single-agent MEK inhibition is a promising therapeutic modality for basal-like breast cancers with intact PTEN, and also provide a basis for rational combination of MEK and PI3K inhibitors in basal-like cancers with both intact and deleted PTEN.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Clinical Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancers can be divided into subtypes with important implications for prognosis and treatment. We set out to characterize the genetic alterations observed in different breast cancer subtypes and to identify specific candidate genes and pathways associated with subtype biology. mRNA expression levels of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 were shown to predict marker status determined by immunohistochemistry and to be effective at assigning samples to subtypes. HER2(+) cancers were shown to have the greatest frequency of high-level amplification (independent of the ERBB2 amplicon itself), but triple-negative cancers had the highest overall frequencies of copy gain. Triple-negative cancers also were shown to have more frequent loss of phosphatase and tensin homologue and mutation of RB1, which may contribute to genomic instability. We identified and validated seven regions of copy number alteration associated with different subtypes, and used integrative bioinformatics analysis to identify candidate oncogenes and tumor suppressors, including ERBB2, GRB7, MYST2, PPM1D, CCND1, HDAC2, FOXA1, and RASA1. We tested the candidate oncogene MYST2 and showed that it enhances the anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells. The genome-wide and region-specific differences between subtypes suggest the differential activation of oncogenic pathways.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Molecular Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease with distinct molecular subtypes characterized by differential response to targeted and chemotherapeutic agents. Enhanced understanding of the genetic alterations characteristic of different subtypes is needed to pave the way for more personalized administration of therapeutic agents. We have taken a functional genomics approach using a well-characterized panel of breast cancer cell lines to identify putative biomarkers of resistance to antimitotic agents such as paclitaxel and monomethyl-auristatin-E (MMAE). In vitro studies revealed a striking difference in sensitivity to these agents between cell lines from different subtypes, with basal-like cell lines being significantly more sensitive to both agents than luminal or HER2-amplified cell lines. Genome-wide association studies using copy number data from Affymetrix single nucleotide polymorphism arrays identified amplification of the chromosome 17q21 region as being highly associated with resistance to both paclitaxel and MMAE. An unbiased approach consisting of RNA interference and high content analysis was used to show that amplification and concomitant overexpression of the gene encoding the ABCC3 drug transporter is responsible for conferring in vitro resistance to paclitaxel and MMAE. We also show that amplification of ABCC3 is present in primary breast tumors and that it occurs predominantly in HER2-amplified and luminal tumors, and we report on development of a specific fluorescence in situ hybridization assay that may have utility as a predictive biomarker of taxane resistance in breast cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of recurrent DNA amplification can lead to the identification of cancer driver genes, but this process is often hampered by the low resolution of existing copy number analysis platforms. Fifty-one breast tumors were profiled for copy number alterations (CNAs) with the high-resolution Affymetrix 500K SNP array. These tumors were also expression-profiled and surveyed for mutations in selected genes commonly mutated in breast cancer (TP53, CDKN2A, ERBB2, KRAS, PIK3CA, PTEN). Combined analysis of common CNAs and mutations revealed putative associations between features. Analysis of both the prevalence and amplitude of CNAs defined regions of recurrent alteration. Compared with previous array comparative genomic hybridization studies, our analysis provided boundaries for frequently altered regions that were approximately one-fourth the size, greatly reducing the number of potential alteration-driving genes. Expression data from matched tumor samples were used to further interrogate the functional relevance of genes located in recurrent amplicons. Although our data support the importance of some known driver genes such as ERBB2, refined amplicon boundaries at other locations, such as 8p11-12 and 11q13.5-q14.2, greatly reduce the number of potential driver genes and indicate alternatives to commonly suggested driver genes in some cases. For example, the previously reported recurrent amplification at 17q23.2 is reduced to a 249 kb minimal region containing the putative driver RPS6KB1 as well as the putative oncogenic microRNA mir-21. High-resolution copy number analysis provides refined insight into many breast cancer amplicons and their relationships to gene expression, point mutations and breast cancer subtype classifications. This article contains Supplementary Material available at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/1045-2257/suppmat.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Genes Chromosomes and Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms of action of a HIV protease inhibitor, ritonavir, on hepatic function were explored on a genomic scale using microarrays comprising genes expressed in the liver of Sprague-Dawley rats (Rattus norvegicus). Analyses of hepatic transcriptional fingerprints led to the identification of several key cellular pathways affected by ritonavir treatment. These effects were compared to a compendium of gene expression responses for 52 unrelated compounds and to other protease inhibitors, including atazanavir and two experimental compounds. We identified genes involved in cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis, as well as genes involved in fatty acid and cholesterol breakdown, whose expressions were regulated in opposite manners by ritonavir and bezafibrate, a hypolipidemic agonist of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha. Ritonavir also upregulated multiple proteasomal subunit transcripts as well as genes involved in ubiquitination, consistent with its known inhibitory effect on proteasomal activity. We also tested three other protease inhibitors in addition to ritonavir. Atazanavir did not impact ubiquitin or proteasomal gene expression, although the two other experimental protease inhibitors impacted both proteasomal gene expression and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-activated genes, similar to ritonavir. Identification of key metabolic pathways that are affected by ritonavir and other protease inhibitors will enable us to understand better the downstream effects of protease inhibitors, thus leading to better drug design and an effective method to mitigate the side effects of this important class of HIV therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2007 · Genomics
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    ABSTRACT: Apo2L/TRAIL stimulates cancer cell death through the proapoptotic receptors DR4 and DR5, but the determinants of tumor susceptibility to this ligand are not fully defined. mRNA expression of the peptidyl O-glycosyltransferase GALNT14 correlated with Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity in pancreatic carcinoma, non-small-cell lung carcinoma and melanoma cell lines, and up to 30% of samples from various human malignancies showed GALNT14 overexpression. RNA interference of GALNT14 reduced cellular Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity, whereas overexpression increased responsiveness. Biochemical analysis of DR5 identified several ectodomain O-(N-acetyl galactosamine-galactose-sialic acid) structures. Sequence comparison predicted conserved extracellular DR4 and DR5 O-glycosylation sites; progressive mutation of the DR5 sites attenuated apoptotic signaling. O-glycosylation promoted ligand-stimulated clustering of DR4 and DR5, which mediated recruitment and activation of the apoptosis-initiating protease caspase-8. These results uncover a new link between death-receptor O-glycosylation and apoptotic signaling, providing potential predictive biomarkers for Apo2L/TRAIL-based cancer therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Nature Medicine
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    William F Forrest · Guy Cavet
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    ABSTRACT: Sjöblom et al. (Research Articles, 13 October 2006, p. 268) used data from cancer genome resequencing to identify genes with elevated mutation rates. Their analysis used point probabilities when it should have used P values for the hypotheses they intended to test. Reimplementing their analysis method with exact P values results in far fewer genes with mutation rates that achieve statistical significance.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: Proteolysis of beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) into amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) by beta- and gamma-secretases is a critical step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), but the pathways regulating secretases are not fully characterized. Ubiquitinylation, which is dysregulated in AD, may affect APP processing. Here, we describe a screen for APP processing modulators using an siRNA library targeting 532 predicted ubiquitin ligases. Seven siRNA pools diminished Abeta production. Of these, siRNAs targeting PPIL2 (hCyp-60) suppressed beta-site cleavage. Knockdown of PPIL2 mRNA decreased BACE1 mRNA, while overexpression of PPIL2 cDNA enhanced BACE1 mRNA levels. Microarray analysis of PPIL2 or BACE1 knockdown indicated that genes affected by BACE1 knockdown are a subset of those dependent upon PPIL2; suggesting that BACE1 expression is downstream of PPIL2. The association of PPIL2 with BACE expression and its requirement for Abeta production suggests new approaches to discover disease modifying agents for AD.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Significant improvements in the outcome of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) have been reported in patients treated with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, erlotinib. To discover biomarkers for the enrichment of patients who might benefit from treatment, a pharmacogenomic approach was used to identify gene signatures that may predict erlotinib activity using in vitro model systems. Erlotinib sensitivity in a panel of 42 NSCLC cell lines was determined by EGFR-mediated proliferative potential, EGFR mutations, and/or EGFR gene amplification, thus supporting an underlying biological mechanism of receptor activation. A strong multigene signature indicative of an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) was identified as a determinant of insensitivity to erlotinib through both supervised and unsupervised gene expression approaches. This observation was further supported by expression analysis of classic EMT marker proteins, including E-cadherin and vimentin. To investigate the clinical relevance of these findings, we examined expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin by immunohistochemistry on primary tumor samples from subjects enrolled in a randomized NSCLC clinical trial in which erlotinib in combination with chemotherapy previously failed to show clinical activity. The majority (75%) of the 87 subjects tested showed strong E-cadherin staining and exhibited a significantly longer time to progression (hazard ratio, 0.37; log rank P=0.0028) and a nonsignificant trend toward longer survival with erlotinib plus chemotherapy treatment versus chemotherapy alone. These data support a potential role for EMT as a determinant of EGFR activity in NSCLC tumor cells and E-cadherin expression as a novel biomarker predicting clinical activity of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib in NSCLC patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Clinical Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function phenotypes often hold the key to understanding the connections and biological functions of biochemical pathways. We and others previously constructed libraries of short hairpin RNAs that allow systematic analysis of RNA interference-induced phenotypes in mammalian cells. Here we report the construction and validation of second-generation short hairpin RNA expression libraries designed using an increased knowledge of RNA interference biochemistry. These constructs include silencing triggers designed to mimic a natural microRNA primary transcript, and each target sequence was selected on the basis of thermodynamic criteria for optimal small RNA performance. Biochemical and phenotypic assays indicate that the new libraries are substantially improved over first-generation reagents. We generated large-scale-arrayed, sequence-verified libraries comprising more than 140,000 second-generation short hairpin RNA expression plasmids, covering a substantial fraction of all predicted genes in the human and mouse genomes. These libraries are available to the scientific community.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2005 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Generation of complex libraries of defined nucleic acid sequences can greatly aid the functional analysis of protein and gene function. Previously, such studies relied either on individually synthesized oligonucleotides or on cellular nucleic acids as the starting material. As each method has disadvantages, we have developed a rapid and cost-effective alternative for construction of small-fragment DNA libraries of defined sequences. This approach uses in situ microarray DNA synthesis for generation of complex oligonucleotide populations. These populations can be recovered and either used directly or immortalized by cloning. From a single microarray, a library containing thousands of unique sequences can be generated. As an example of the potential applications of this technology, we have tested the approach for the production of plasmids encoding short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting numerous human and mouse genes. We achieved high-fidelity clone retrieval with a uniform representation of intended library sequences.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Nature Methods
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful new tool with which to perform loss-of-function genetic screens in lower organisms and can greatly facilitate the identification of components of cellular signalling pathways. In mammalian cells, such screens have been hampered by a lack of suitable tools that can be used on a large scale. We and others have recently developed expression vectors to direct the synthesis of short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that act as short interfering RNA (siRNA)-like molecules to stably suppress gene expression. Here we report the construction of a set of retroviral vectors encoding 23,742 distinct shRNAs, which target 7,914 different human genes for suppression. We use this RNAi library in human cells to identify one known and five new modulators of p53-dependent proliferation arrest. Suppression of these genes confers resistance to both p53-dependent and p19ARF-dependent proliferation arrest, and abolishes a DNA-damage-induced G1 cell-cycle arrest. Furthermore, we describe siRNA bar-code screens to rapidly identify individual siRNA vectors associated with a specific phenotype. These new tools will greatly facilitate large-scale loss-of-function genetic screens in mammalian cells.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2004 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: To address the need for high sensitivity in gene expression profiling of small neural tissue samples ( approximately 100 ng total RNA), we compared a novel RT-PCR-IVT protocol using fluor-reverse pairs on inkjet oligonucleotide microarrays and an RT-IVT protocol using 33P labeling on nylon cDNA arrays. The comparison protocol was designed to evaluate these systems for sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, and linearity. We developed parameters, thresholds, and testing conditions that could be used to differentiate various systems that spanned detection chemistry and instrumentation; probe number and selection criteria; and sample processing protocols. We concluded that the inkjet system had better performance in sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility than the nylon system, and similar performance in linearity. Between these two platforms, the data indicates that the inkjet system would perform better for the transcriptional profiling of 100 ng total RNA samples for neuroscience studies.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Journal of Neuroscience Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Computational and microarray-based experimental approaches were used to generate a comprehensive transcript index for the human genome. Oligonucleotide probes designed from approximately 50,000 known and predicted transcript sequences from the human genome were used to survey transcription from a diverse set of 60 tissues and cell lines using ink-jet microarrays. Further, expression activity over at least six conditions was more generally assessed using genomic tiling arrays consisting of probes tiled through a repeat-masked version of the genomic sequence making up chromosomes 20 and 22. The combination of microarray data with extensive genome annotations resulted in a set of 28,456 experimentally supported transcripts. This set of high-confidence transcripts represents the first experimentally driven annotation of the human genome. In addition, the results from genomic tiling suggest that a large amount of transcription exists outside of annotated regions of the genome and serves as an example of how this activity could be measured on a genome-wide scale. These data represent one of the most comprehensive assessments of transcriptional activity in the human genome and provide an atlas of human gene expression over a unique set of gene predictions. Before the annotation of the human genome is considered complete, however, the previously unannotated transcriptional activity throughout the genome must be fully characterized.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Genome biology
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    ABSTRACT: Modern medicine faces the challenge of developing safer and more effective therapies to treat human diseases. Many drugs currently in use were discovered without knowledge of their underlying molecular mechanisms. Understanding their biological targets and modes of action will be essential to design improved second-generation compounds. Here, we describe the use of a genome-wide pool of tagged heterozygotes to assess the cellular effects of 78 compounds in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, lanosterol synthase in the sterol biosynthetic pathway was identified as a target of the antianginal drug molsidomine, which may explain its cholesterol-lowering effects. Further, the rRNA processing exosome was identified as a potential target of the cell growth inhibitor 5-fluorouracil. This genome-wide screen validated previously characterized targets or helped identify potentially new modes of action for over half of the compounds tested, providing proof of this principle for analyzing the modes of action of clinically relevant compounds.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference is thought to require near-identity between the small interfering RNA (siRNA) and its cognate mRNA. Here, we used gene expression profiling to characterize the specificity of gene silencing by siRNAs in cultured human cells. Transcript profiles revealed siRNA-specific rather than target-specific signatures, including direct silencing of nontargeted genes containing as few as eleven contiguous nucleotides of identity to the siRNA. These results demonstrate that siRNAs may cross-react with targets of limited sequence similarity.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2003 · Nature Biotechnology
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    ABSTRACT: MOTIVATION: There is a very large and growing level of effort toward improving the platforms, experiment designs, and data analysis methods for microarray expression profiling. Along with a growing richness in the approaches there is a growing confusion among most scientists as to how to make objective comparisons and choices between them for different applications. There is a need for a standard framework for the microarray community to compare and improve analytical and statistical methods. RESULTS: We report on a microarray data set comprising 204 in-situ synthesized oligonucleotide arrays, each hybridized with two-color cDNA samples derived from 20 different human tissues and cell lines. Design of the approximately 24 000 60mer oligonucleotides that report approximately 2500 known genes on the arrays, and design of the hybridization experiments, were carried out in a way that supports the performance assessment of alternative data processing approaches and of alternative experiment and array designs. We also propose standard figures of merit for success in detecting individual differential expression changes or expression levels, and for detecting similarities and differences in expression patterns across genes and experiments. We expect this data set and the proposed figures of merit will provide a standard framework for much of the microarray community to compare and improve many analytical and statistical methods relevant to microarray data analysis, including image processing, normalization, error modeling, combining of multiple reporters per gene, use of replicate experiments, and sample referencing schemes in measurements based on expression change. AVAILABILITY/SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Expression data and supplementary information are available at http://www.rii.com/publications/2003/HE_SDS.htm
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2003 · Bioinformatics

Publication Stats

8k Citations
503.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002
    • InPharmatics
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1998-2002
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 2001
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom