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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A genomic case study of mixed fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma.

Mixed fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (mFL-HCC) is a rare liver tumor defined by the presence of both pure FL-HCC and conventional HCC components, represents up to 25% of cases of FL-HCC, and has been associated with worse prognosis. Recent genomic characterization of pure FL-HCC identified a highly recurrent transcript fusion (DNAJB1:PRKACA) not found in conventional HCC.We performed exome and transcriptome sequencing of a case of mFL-HCC. A novel BAC-capture approach was developed to identify a 400 kb deletion as the underlying genomic mechanism for a DNAJB1:PRKACA fusion in this case. A sensitive Nanostring Elements assay was used to screen for this…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Current developments in molecular monitoring in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Molecular monitoring plays an essential role in the clinical management of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients, and now guides clinical decision making. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (qRT-PCR) assessment of BCR-ABL1 transcript levels has become the standard of care protocol in CML. However, further developments are required to assess leukemic burden more efficiently, monitor minimal residual disease (MRD), detect mutations that drive resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy and identify predictors of response to TKI therapy. Cartridge-based BCR-ABL1 quantitation, digital PCR and next generation sequencing are examples of technologies which are currently being explored, evaluated and translated into the clinic. Here we…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization of fusion genes and the significantly expressed fusion isoforms in breast cancer by hybrid sequencing.

We developed an innovative hybrid sequencing approach, IDP-fusion, to detect fusion genes, determine fusion sites and identify and quantify fusion isoforms. IDP-fusion is the first method to study gene fusion events by integrating Third Generation Sequencing long reads and Second Generation Sequencing short reads. We applied IDP-fusion to PacBio data and Illumina data from the MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Compared with the existing tools, IDP-fusion detects fusion genes at higher precision and a very low false positive rate. The results show that IDP-fusion will be useful for unraveling the complexity of multiple fusion splices and fusion isoforms within tumorigenesis-relevant fusion…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification of a novel fusion transcript between human relaxin-1 (RLN1) and human relaxin-2 (RLN2) in prostate cancer.

Simultaneous expression of highly homologous RLN1 and RLN2 genes in prostate impairs their accurate delineation. We used PacBio SMRT sequencing and RNA-Seq in LNCaP cells in order to dissect the expression of RLN1 and RLN2 variants. We identified a novel fusion transcript comprising the RLN1 and RLN2 genes and found evidence of its expression in the normal and prostate cancer tissues. The RLN1-RLN2 fusion putatively encodes RLN2 isoform with the deleted secretory signal peptide. The identification of the fusion transcript provided information to determine unique RLN1-RLN2 fusion and RLN1 regions. The RLN1-RLN2 fusion was co-expressed with RLN1 in LNCaP cells,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Unveiling the complexity of the maize transcriptome by single-molecule long-read sequencing.

Zea mays is an important genetic model for elucidating transcriptional networks. Uncertainties about the complete structure of mRNA transcripts limit the progress of research in this system. Here, using single-molecule sequencing technology, we produce 111,151 transcripts from 6 tissues capturing ~70% of the genes annotated in maize RefGen_v3 genome. A large proportion of transcripts (57%) represent novel, sometimes tissue-specific, isoforms of known genes and 3% correspond to novel gene loci. In other cases, the identified transcripts have improved existing gene models. Averaging across all six tissues, 90% of the splice junctions are supported by short reads from matched tissues. In…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Transcriptome sequencing reveals thousands of novel long non-coding RNAs in B cell lymphoma.

Gene profiling of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has revealed broad gene expression deregulation compared to normal B cells. While many studies have interrogated well known and annotated genes in DLBCL, none have yet performed a systematic analysis to uncover novel unannotated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) in DLBCL. In this study we sought to uncover these lncRNAs by examining RNA-seq data from primary DLBCL tumors and performed supporting analysis to identify potential role of these lncRNAs in DLBCL.We performed a systematic analysis of novel lncRNAs from the poly-adenylated transcriptome of 116 primary DLBCL samples. RNA-seq data were processed using…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Ribbon: Visualizing complex genome alignments and structural variation

Visualization has played an extremely important role in the current genomic revolution to inspect and understand variants, expression patterns, evolutionary changes, and a number of other relationships. However, most of the information in read-to-reference or genome-genome alignments is lost for structural variations in the one-dimensional views of most genome browsers showing only reference coordinates. Instead, structural variations captured by long reads or assembled contigs often need more context to understand, including alignments and other genomic information from multiple chromosomes. We have addressed this problem by creating Ribbon (genomeribbon.com) an interactive online visualization tool that displays alignments along both reference and…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

SplitThreader: Exploration and analysis of rearrangements in cancer genomes

Genomic rearrangements and associated copy number changes are important drivers in cancer as they can alter the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, create gene fusions, and misregulate gene expression. Here we present SplitThreader (http://splitthreader.com), an open- source interactive web application for analysis and visualization of genomic rearrangements and copy number variation in cancer genomes. SplitThreader constructs a sequence graph of genomic rearrangements in the sample and uses a priority queue breadth-first search algorithm on the graph to search for novel interactions. This is applied to detect gene fusions and other novel sequences, as well as to evaluate distances in…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Utility of DNA, RNA, protein, and functional approaches to solve cryptic immunodeficiencies.

We report a female infant identified by newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiencies (NBS SCID) with T cell lymphopenia (TCL). The patient had persistently elevated alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) with IgA deficiency, and elevated IgM. Gene sequencing for a SCID panel was uninformative. We sought to determine the cause of the immunodeficiency in this infant.We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on the patient and parents to identify a genetic diagnosis. Based on the WES result, we developed a novel flow cytometric panel for rapid assessment of DNA repair defects using blood samples. We also performed whole transcriptome sequencing (WTS) on fibroblast RNA from…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An Inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)-encoded CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein defines an aggressive subtype of pediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukemia.

To define the mutation spectrum in non-Down syndrome acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (non-DS-AMKL), we performed transcriptome sequencing on diagnostic blasts from 14 pediatric patients and validated our findings in a recurrency/validation cohort consisting of 34 pediatric and 28 adult AMKL samples. Our analysis identified a cryptic chromosome 16 inversion (inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)) in 27% of pediatric cases, which encodes a CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein. Expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 in Drosophila and murine hematopoietic cells induced bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling and resulted in a marked increase in the self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic progenitors. These data suggest that expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 directly contributes to leukemogenesis. Copyright…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Exocytotic fusion pores are composed of both lipids and proteins.

During exocytosis, fusion pores form the first aqueous connection that allows escape of neurotransmitters and hormones from secretory vesicles. Although it is well established that SNARE proteins catalyze fusion, the structure and composition of fusion pores remain unknown. Here, we exploited the rigid framework and defined size of nanodiscs to interrogate the properties of reconstituted fusion pores, using the neurotransmitter glutamate as a content-mixing marker. Efficient Ca(2+)-stimulated bilayer fusion, and glutamate release, occurred with approximately two molecules of mouse synaptobrevin 2 reconstituted into ~6-nm nanodiscs. The transmembrane domains of SNARE proteins assumed distinct roles in lipid mixing versus content release…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recurrent DUX4 fusions in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia of adolescents and young adults.

The oncogenic mechanisms underlying acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adolescents and young adults (AYA; 15-39 years old) remain largely elusive. Here we have searched for new oncogenes in AYA-ALL by performing RNA-seq analysis of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative AYA-ALL specimens (n = 73) with the use of a next-generation sequencer. Interestingly, insertion of D4Z4 repeats containing the DUX4 gene into the IGH locus was frequently identified in B cell AYA-ALL, leading to a high level of expression of DUX4 protein with an aberrant C terminus. A transplantation assay in mice demonstrated that expression of DUX4-IGH in pro-B cells was capable of…

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