September 22, 2019  |  

Defining a personal, allele-specific, and single-molecule long-read transcriptome.

Personal transcriptomes in which all of an individual’s genetic variants (e.g., single nucleotide variants) and transcript isoforms (transcription start sites, splice sites, and polyA sites) are defined and quantified for full-length transcripts are expected to be important for understanding individual biology and disease, but have not been described previously. To obtain such transcriptomes, we sequenced the lymphoblastoid transcriptomes of three family members (GM12878 and the parents GM12891 and GM12892) by using a Pacific Biosciences long-read approach complemented with Illumina 101-bp sequencing and made the following observations. First, we found that reads representing all splice sites of a transcript are evident for most sufficiently expressed genes =3 kb and often for genes longer than that. Second, we added and quantified previously unidentified splicing isoforms to an existing annotation, thus creating the first personalized annotation to our knowledge. Third, we determined SNVs in a de novo manner and connected them to RNA haplotypes, including HLA haplotypes, thereby assigning single full-length RNA molecules to their transcribed allele, and demonstrated Mendelian inheritance of RNA molecules. Fourth, we show how RNA molecules can be linked to personal variants on a one-by-one basis, which allows us to assess differential allelic expression (DAE) and differential allelic isoforms (DAI) from the phased full-length isoform reads. The DAI method is largely independent of the distance between exon and SNV–in contrast to fragmentation-based methods. Overall, in addition to improving eukaryotic transcriptome annotation, these results describe, to our knowledge, the first large-scale and full-length personal transcriptome.


September 21, 2019  |  

Long-read genome sequencing identifies causal structural variation in a Mendelian disease.

PurposeCurrent clinical genomics assays primarily utilize short-read sequencing (SRS), but SRS has limited ability to evaluate repetitive regions and structural variants. Long-read sequencing (LRS) has complementary strengths, and we aimed to determine whether LRS could offer a means to identify overlooked genetic variation in patients undiagnosed by SRS.MethodsWe performed low-coverage genome LRS to identify structural variants in a patient who presented with multiple neoplasia and cardiac myxomata, in whom the results of targeted clinical testing and genome SRS were negative.ResultsThis LRS approach yielded 6,971 deletions and 6,821 insertions?>?50?bp. Filtering for variants that are absent in an unrelated control and overlap a disease gene coding exon identified three deletions and three insertions. One of these, a heterozygous 2,184?bp deletion, overlaps the first coding exon of PRKAR1A, which is implicated in autosomal dominant Carney complex. RNA sequencing demonstrated decreased PRKAR1A expression. The deletion was classified as pathogenic based on guidelines for interpretation of sequence variants.ConclusionThis first successful application of genome LRS to identify a pathogenic variant in a patient suggests that LRS has significant potential for the identification of disease-causing structural variation. Larger studies will ultimately be required to evaluate the potential clinical utility of LRS.


July 19, 2019  |  

Rapid detection of expanded short tandem repeats in personal genomics using hybrid sequencing.

Long expansions of short tandem repeats (STRs), i.e. DNA repeats of 2-6 nt, are associated with some genetic diseases. Cost-efficient high-throughput sequencing can quickly produce billions of short reads that would be useful for uncovering disease-associated STRs. However, enumerating STRs in short reads remains largely unexplored because of the difficulty in elucidating STRs much longer than 100 bp, the typical length of short reads.We propose ab initio procedures for sensing and locating long STRs promptly by using the frequency distribution of all STRs and paired-end read information. We validated the reproducibility of this method using biological replicates and used it to locate an STR associated with a brain disease (SCA31). Subsequently, we sequenced this STR site in 11 SCA31 samples using SMRT(TM) sequencing (Pacific Biosciences), determined 2.3-3.1 kb sequences at nucleotide resolution and revealed that (TGGAA)- and (TAAAATAGAA)-repeat expansions determined the instability of the repeat expansions associated with SCA31. Our method could also identify common STRs, (AAAG)- and (AAAAG)-repeat expansions, which are remarkably expanded at four positions in an SCA31 sample. This is the first proposed method for rapidly finding disease-associated long STRs in personal genomes using hybrid sequencing of short and long reads.Our TRhist software is available at http://trhist.gi.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/.moris@cb.k.u-tokyo.ac.jpSupplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.


July 19, 2019  |  

Assessing structural variation in a personal genome-towards a human reference diploid genome.

Characterizing large genomic variants is essential to expanding the research and clinical applications of genome sequencing. While multiple data types and methods are available to detect these structural variants (SVs), they remain less characterized than smaller variants because of SV diversity, complexity, and size. These challenges are exacerbated by the experimental and computational demands of SV analysis. Here, we characterize the SV content of a personal genome with Parliament, a publicly available consensus SV-calling infrastructure that merges multiple data types and SV detection methods.We demonstrate Parliament’s efficacy via integrated analyses of data from whole-genome array comparative genomic hybridization, short-read next-generation sequencing, long-read (Pacific BioSciences RSII), long-insert (Illumina Nextera), and whole-genome architecture (BioNano Irys) data from the personal genome of a single subject (HS1011). From this genome, Parliament identified 31,007 genomic loci between 100 bp and 1 Mbp that are inconsistent with the hg19 reference assembly. Of these loci, 9,777 are supported as putative SVs by hybrid local assembly, long-read PacBio data, or multi-source heuristics. These SVs span 59 Mbp of the reference genome (1.8%) and include 3,801 events identified only with long-read data. The HS1011 data and complete Parliament infrastructure, including a BAM-to-SV workflow, are available on the cloud-based service DNAnexus.HS1011 SV analysis reveals the limits and advantages of multiple sequencing technologies, specifically the impact of long-read SV discovery. With the full Parliament infrastructure, the HS1011 data constitute a public resource for novel SV discovery, software calibration, and personal genome structural variation analysis.


July 19, 2019  |  

Towards better precision medicine: PacBio single-molecule long reads resolve the interpretation of HIV drug resistant mutation profiles at explicit quasispecies (haplotype) level.

Development of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations (HDRMs) is one of the major reasons for the clinical failure of antiretroviral therapy. Treatment success rates can be improved by applying personalized anti-HIV regimens based on a patient’s HDRM profile. However, the sensitivity and specificity of the HDRM profile is limited by the methods used for detection. Sanger-based sequencing technology has traditionally been used for determining HDRM profiles at the single nucleotide variant (SNV) level, but with a sensitivity of only = 20% in the HIV population of a patient. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies offer greater detection sensitivity (~ 1%) and larger scope (hundreds of samples per run). However, NGS technologies produce reads that are too short to enable the detection of the physical linkages of individual SNVs across the haplotype of each HIV strain present. In this article, we demonstrate that the single-molecule long reads generated using the Third Generation Sequencer (TGS), PacBio RS II, along with the appropriate bioinformatics analysis method, can resolve the HDRM profile at a more advanced quasispecies level. The case studies on patients’ HIV samples showed that the quasispecies view produced using the PacBio method offered greater detection sensitivity and was more comprehensive for understanding HDRM situations, which is complement to both Sanger and NGS technologies. In conclusion, the PacBio method, providing a promising new quasispecies level of HDRM profiling, may effect an important change in the field of HIV drug resistance research.


July 19, 2019  |  

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 genes or variants. Thus, a deeper understanding of disease will be realized that will allow its targeting with much greater therapeutic precision.


July 7, 2019  |  

Feasibility of real time next generation sequencing of cancer genes linked to drug response: results from a clinical trial.

The successes of targeted drugs with companion predictive biomarkers and the technological advances in gene sequencing have generated enthusiasm for evaluating personalized cancer medicine strategies using genomic profiling. We assessed the feasibility of incorporating real-time analysis of somatic mutations within exons of 19 genes into patient management. Blood, tumor biopsy and archived tumor samples were collected from 50 patients recruited from four cancer centers. Samples were analyzed using three technologies: targeted exon sequencing using Pacific Biosciences PacBio RS, multiplex somatic mutation genotyping using Sequenom MassARRAY and Sanger sequencing. An expert panel reviewed results prior to reporting to clinicians. A clinical laboratory verified actionable mutations. Fifty patients were recruited. Nineteen actionable mutations were identified in 16 (32%) patients. Across technologies, results were in agreement in 100% of biopsy specimens and 95% of archival specimens. Profiling results from paired archival/biopsy specimens were concordant in 30/34 (88%) patients. We demonstrated that the use of next generation sequencing for real-time genomic profiling in advanced cancer patients is feasible. Additionally, actionable mutations identified in this study were relatively stable between archival and biopsy samples, implying that cancer mutations that are good predictors of drug response may remain constant across clinical stages. Copyright © 2012 UICC.


July 7, 2019  |  

Cancer genomics: technology, discovery, and translation.

In recent years, the increasing awareness that somatic mutations and other genetic aberrations drive human malignancies has led us within reach of personalized cancer medicine (PCM). The implementation of PCM is based on the following premises: genetic aberrations exist in human malignancies; a subset of these aberrations drive oncogenesis and tumor biology; these aberrations are actionable (defined as having the potential to affect management recommendations based on diagnostic, prognostic, and/or predictive implications); and there are highly specific anticancer agents available that effectively modulate these targets. This article highlights the technology underlying cancer genomics and examines the early results of genome sequencing and the challenges met in the discovery of new genetic aberrations. Finally, drawing from experiences gained in a feasibility study of somatic mutation genotyping and targeted exome sequencing led by Princess Margaret Hospital-University Health Network and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the processes, challenges, and issues involved in the translation of cancer genomics to the clinic are discussed.


July 7, 2019  |  

Hunting structural variants: Population by population

Until recently, most population-scale genome sequencing studies have focused on identifying single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to explore genetic differences between individuals. Like so many SNV-based genome-wide association studies, however, these efforts have had difficulty identifying causative genetic mechanisms underlying most complex functions. More and more, the genomics community has realised that structural variation is likely responsible for many of the traits and phenotypes that scientists have not been able to attribute to SNVs. This class of variants, defined as genetic differences of 50 bp or larger, accounts for most of the DNA sequence differences between any two people. Structural variants (SVs) are also already known to cause many common and rare diseases including ALS, schizophrenia, leukemia, Carney complex, and Huntington’s disease. Despite the importance of SVs, these larger variants have been understudied and underreported compared to their single-nucleotide counterparts. One reason is that they remain difficult to detect. Their length often means they cannot be fully spanned using short sequencing reads. They also often occur in highly repetitive or GC-rich regions of the genome, making them challenging targets. As such, this class of human genetic variation has remained vastly under-explored in global populations and is now ripe for discovery.


July 7, 2019  |  

Precision medicine and rare genetic variants.

Interindividual variability in drug metabolism and drug toxicity persists as a major problem for drug development and treatment. Increased or decreased capacity for drug elimination or drug action reduces drug efficacy and places substantial economic burdens on society (e.g., due to treatment of adverse drug reactions) [1]. To a great extent this variation is based on genetic differences, and indeed many drugs now carry pharmacogenomic labels regarding mandatory or informative genetic tests that have to/can be performed before prescription (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/ scienceresearch/researchareas/pharmacogenetics/ucm083378.htm).Theselabelsarebasedonthe most common allelic variants in germline or somatic genes with importance for drug metabolism that encode phase I or phase II enzymes, transporters, or drug targets. In many cases, particularly in oncology, these labels are major determinants of successful treatment. However, the question arises of to what extent these labels are useful for future precision medicine encompassing specific patients carrying mutations not commonly seen in the whole population.


July 7, 2019  |  

Challenges, solutions, and quality metrics of personal genome assembly in advancing precision medicine.

Even though each of us shares more than 99% of the DNA sequences in our genome, there are millions of sequence codes or structure in small regions that differ between individuals, giving us different characteristics of appearance or responsiveness to medical treatments. Currently, genetic variants in diseased tissues, such as tumors, are uncovered by exploring the differences between the reference genome and the sequences detected in the diseased tissue. However, the public reference genome was derived with the DNA from multiple individuals. As a result of this, the reference genome is incomplete and may misrepresent the sequence variants of the general population. The more reliable solution is to compare sequences of diseased tissue with its own genome sequence derived from tissue in a normal state. As the price to sequence the human genome has dropped dramatically to around $1000, it shows a promising future of documenting the personal genome for every individual. However, de novo assembly of individual genomes at an affordable cost is still challenging. Thus, till now, only a few human genomes have been fully assembled. In this review, we introduce the history of human genome sequencing and the evolution of sequencing platforms, from Sanger sequencing to emerging “third generation sequencing” technologies. We present the currently available de novo assembly and post-assembly software packages for human genome assembly and their requirements for computational infrastructures. We recommend that a combined hybrid assembly with long and short reads would be a promising way to generate good quality human genome assemblies and specify parameters for the quality assessment of assembly outcomes. We provide a perspective view of the benefit of using personal genomes as references and suggestions for obtaining a quality personal genome. Finally, we discuss the usage of the personal genome in aiding vaccine design and development, monitoring host immune-response, tailoring drug therapy and detecting tumors. We believe the precision medicine would largely benefit from bioinformatics solutions, particularly for personal genome assembly.


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