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April 16, 2018

The role of androgen receptor variant AR-V9 in prostate cancer

The expression of androgen receptor (AR) variants is a frequent, yet poorly-understood mechanism of clinical resistance to AR-targeted therapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Among the multiple AR variants expressed in CRPC, AR-V7 is considered the most clinically-relevant AR variant due to broad expression in CRPC, correlations of AR-V7 expression with clinical resistance, and growth inhibition when AR-V7 is knocked down in CRPC models. Therefore, efforts are under way to develop strategies for monitoring and inhibiting AR-V7 in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The aim of this study was to understand whether other AR variants are co-expressed with AR-V7 and promote…

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June 27, 2017

Androgen receptor variant AR-V9 is co-expressed with AR-V7 in prostate cancer metastases and predicts abiraterone resistance.

Purpose: Androgen receptor (AR) variant AR-V7 is a ligand-independent transcription factor that promotes prostate cancer resistance to AR-targeted therapies.  Accordingly, efforts are underway to develop strategies for monitoring and inhibiting AR-V7 in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).  The purpose of this study was to understand whether other AR variants may be co-expressed with AR-V7 and promote resistance to AR-targeted therapies. Experimental Design:  We utilized complementary short- and long-read sequencing of intact AR mRNA isoforms to characterize AR expression in CRPC models.  Co-expression of AR-V7 and AR-V9 mRNA in CRPC metastases and circulating tumor cells was assessed by RNA-seq and RT-PCR, respectively. …

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January 17, 2017

MCF-7 breast cancer cell line PacBio generated transcriptome has ~300 novel transcribed regions, un-annotated in both RefSeq and GENCODE, and absent in the liver, heart and brain transcriptomes

Illuminating the "dark" regions of the human genome remains an ongoing effort, a decade and a half after the human genome was sequenced - RefSeq and GENCODE being two of the major annotation databases. Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) has provided open access to the transcriptome of MCF-7, a breast cancer cell line that has provided significant therapeutic advancement in breast cancer research since the 1970s. PacBio sequencing generates much longer reads compared to second-generation sequencing technologies, with a trade-off of lower throughput, higher error rate and more cost per base. Here, this transcriptome was analyzed using the YeATS pipeline, with additionally…

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August 16, 2016

Towards precision medicine.

There is great potential for genome sequencing to enhance patient care through improved diagnostic sensitivity and more precise therapeutic targeting. To maximize this potential, genomics strategies that have been developed for genetic discovery - including DNA-sequencing technologies and analysis algorithms - need to be adapted to fit clinical needs. This will require the optimization of alignment algorithms, attention to quality-coverage metrics, tailored solutions for paralogous or low-complexity areas of the genome, and the adoption of consensus standards for variant calling and interpretation. Global sharing of this more accurate genotypic and phenotypic data will accelerate the determination of causality for novel…

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June 1, 2016

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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May 1, 2016

Highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated cloning and functional characterization of gastric cancer-derived Epstein-Barr virus strains.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is etiologically linked to approximately 10% of gastric cancers, in which viral genomes are maintained as multicopy episomes. EBV-positive gastric cancer cells are incompetent for progeny virus production, making viral DNA cloning extremely difficult. Here we describe a highly efficient strategy for obtaining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones of EBV episomes by utilizing a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated strand break of the viral genome and subsequent homology-directed repair. EBV strains maintained in two gastric cancer cell lines (SNU719 and YCCEL1) were cloned, and their complete viral genome sequences were determined. Infectious viruses of gastric cancer cell-derived EBVs were reconstituted,…

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March 1, 2016

Detection and screening of chromosomal rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas by long-distance inverse PCR.

Genome instability is a hallmark of many tumors and recently, next-generation sequencing methods have enabled analyses of tumor genomes at an unprecedented level. Studying rearrangement-prone chromosomal regions (putative "breakpoint hotspots") in detail, however, necessitates molecular assays that can detect de novo DNA fusions arising from these hotspots. Here we demonstrate the utility of a long-distance inverse PCR-based method for the detection and screening of de novo DNA rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas, one of the most common types of human neoplasm. This assay allows in principle any genomic region suspected of instability to be queried for DNA rearrangements originating there. No…

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February 12, 2016

AGBT Virtual Poster: SMRT Sequencing for the detection of low-frequency somatic variants

Steve Kujawa from PacBio presents an AGBT poster reporting a study that characterized the use of SMRT Sequencing for the detection of low-frequency somatic variants. A multiplexed reference standard was amplified using the Multiplicom assay and sequenced on both the PacBio RS II and MiSeq System. Results indicate good concordance between the sequencing platforms, even at very low mutation frequencies.

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February 1, 2016

Novel FANCI mutations in Fanconi anemia with VACTERL association.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by mutations in DNA repair genes; some of these patients may have features of the VACTERL association. Autosomal recessive mutations in FANCI are a rare cause of FA. We identified FANCI mutations by next generation sequencing in three patients in our FA cohort among several whose mutated gene was unknown. Four of the six mutations are novel and all mutations are likely deleterious to protein function. There are now 16 reported cases of FA due to FANCI of whom 7 have at least 3 features of the VACTERL association…

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February 1, 2016

IsoSeq analysis and functional annotation of the infratentorial ependymoma tumor tissue on PacBio RSII platform.

Here, we sequenced and functionally annotated the long reads (1-2 kb) cDNAs library of an infratentorial ependymoma tumor tissue on PacBio RSII by Iso-Seq protocol using SMRT technology. 577 MB, data was generated from the brain tissues of ependymoma tumor patient, producing 1,19,313 high-quality reads assembled into 19,878 contigs using Celera assembler followed by Quiver pipelines, which produced 2952 unique protein accessions in the nr protein database and 307 KEGG pathways. Additionally, when we compared GO terms of second and third level with alternative splicing data obtained through HTA Array2.0. We identified four and twelve transcript cluster IDs in Level-2 and Level-3…

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January 15, 2016

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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December 1, 2015

Highly sensitive, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer mutations using single molecule, third generation sequencing.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents one of the most prevalent and lethal malignant neoplasms and every individual of age 50 and above should undergo regular CRC screening. Currently, the most effective preventive screening procedure to detect adenomatous polyps, the precursors to CRC, is colonoscopy. Since every colorectal cancer starts as a polyp, detecting all polyps and removing them is crucial. By exactly doing that, colonoscopy reduces CRC incidence by 80%, however it is an invasive procedure that might have unpleasant and, in rare occasions, dangerous side effects. Despite numerous efforts over the past two decades, a non-invasive screening method for the…

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December 1, 2015

SMRT Sequencing for parallel analysis of multiple targets and accurate SNP phasing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing generates much longer reads than other widely used next-generation (next-gen) sequencing methods, but its application to whole genome/exome analysis has been limited. Here, we describe the use of SMRT sequencing coupled with barcoding to simultaneously analyze one or a small number of genomic targets derived from multiple sources. In the budding yeast system, SMRT sequencing was used to analyze strand-exchange intermediates generated during mitotic recombination and to analyze genetic changes in a forward mutation assay. The general barcoding-SMRT approach was then extended to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma primary tumors and cell lines, where detected changes agreed…

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November 18, 2015

A rebeccamycin analog provides plasmid-encoded niche defense.

Bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants occupy a highly specialized ecological niche and face the constant existential threat of displacement by another strain of ant-adapted bacteria. As part of a systematic study of the small molecules underlying this fraternal competition, we discovered an analog of the antitumor agent rebeccamycin, a member of the increasingly important indolocarbazole family. While several gene clusters consistent with this molecule's newly reported modification had previously been identified in metagenomic studies, the metabolite itself has been cryptic. The biosynthetic gene cluster for 9-methoxyrebeccamycin is encoded on a plasmid in a manner reminiscent of plasmid-derived peptide antimicrobials that…

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November 1, 2015

Comprehensive analysis of cancer-associated somatic mutations in class I HLA genes.

Detection of somatic mutations in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes using whole-exome sequencing (WES) is hampered by the high polymorphism of the HLA loci, which prevents alignment of sequencing reads to the human reference genome. We describe a computational pipeline that enables accurate inference of germline alleles of class I HLA-A, B and C genes and subsequent detection of mutations in these genes using the inferred alleles as a reference. Analysis of WES data from 7,930 pairs of tumor and healthy tissue from the same patient revealed 298 nonsilent HLA mutations in tumors from 266 patients. These 298 mutations are…

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