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1.  An expression module of WIPF1-coexpressed genes identifies patients with favorable prognosis in three tumor types 
Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome (WAS) predisposes patients to leukemia and lymphoma. WAS is caused by mutations in the protein WASP which impair its interaction with the WIPF1 protein. Here, we aim to identify a module of WIPF1-coexpressed genes and to assess its use as a prognostic signature for colorectal cancer, glioma, and breast cancer patients. Two public colorectal cancer microarray data sets were used for discovery and validation of the WIPF1 co-expression module. Based on expression of the WIPF1 signature, we classified more than 400 additional tumors with microarray data from our own experiments or from publicly available data sets according to their WIPF1 signature expression. This allowed us to separate patient populations for colorectal cancers, breast cancers, and gliomas for which clinical characteristics like survival times and times to relapse were analyzed. Groups of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and glioma patients with low expression of the WIPF1 co-expression module generally had a favorable prognosis. In addition, the majority of WIPF1 signature genes are individually correlated with disease outcome in different studies. Literature gene network analysis revealed that among WIPF1 co-expressed genes known direct transcriptional targets of c-myc, ESR1 and p53 are enriched. The mean expression profile of WIPF1 signature genes is correlated with the profile of a proliferation signature. The WIPF1 signature is the first microarray-based prognostic expression signature primarily developed for colorectal cancer that is instrumental in other tumor types: low expression of the WIPF1 module is associated with better prognosis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00109-009-0467-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2688022  PMID: 19399471
Colorectal cancer; WIPF1; Prognosis; Expression signature; Microarray
2.  The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome 
Ross, Mark T. | Grafham, Darren V. | Coffey, Alison J. | Scherer, Steven | McLay, Kirsten | Muzny, Donna | Platzer, Matthias | Howell, Gareth R. | Burrows, Christine | Bird, Christine P. | Frankish, Adam | Lovell, Frances L. | Howe, Kevin L. | Ashurst, Jennifer L. | Fulton, Robert S. | Sudbrak, Ralf | Wen, Gaiping | Jones, Matthew C. | Hurles, Matthew E. | Andrews, T. Daniel | Scott, Carol E. | Searle, Stephen | Ramser, Juliane | Whittaker, Adam | Deadman, Rebecca | Carter, Nigel P. | Hunt, Sarah E. | Chen, Rui | Cree, Andrew | Gunaratne, Preethi | Havlak, Paul | Hodgson, Anne | Metzker, Michael L. | Richards, Stephen | Scott, Graham | Steffen, David | Sodergren, Erica | Wheeler, David A. | Worley, Kim C. | Ainscough, Rachael | Ambrose, Kerrie D. | Ansari-Lari, M. Ali | Aradhya, Swaroop | Ashwell, Robert I. S. | Babbage, Anne K. | Bagguley, Claire L. | Ballabio, Andrea | Banerjee, Ruby | Barker, Gary E. | Barlow, Karen F. | Barrett, Ian P. | Bates, Karen N. | Beare, David M. | Beasley, Helen | Beasley, Oliver | Beck, Alfred | Bethel, Graeme | Blechschmidt, Karin | Brady, Nicola | Bray-Allen, Sarah | Bridgeman, Anne M. | Brown, Andrew J. | Brown, Mary J. | Bonnin, David | Bruford, Elspeth A. | Buhay, Christian | Burch, Paula | Burford, Deborah | Burgess, Joanne | Burrill, Wayne | Burton, John | Bye, Jackie M. | Carder, Carol | Carrel, Laura | Chako, Joseph | Chapman, Joanne C. | Chavez, Dean | Chen, Ellson | Chen, Guan | Chen, Yuan | Chen, Zhijian | Chinault, Craig | Ciccodicola, Alfredo | Clark, Sue Y. | Clarke, Graham | Clee, Chris M. | Clegg, Sheila | Clerc-Blankenburg, Kerstin | Clifford, Karen | Cobley, Vicky | Cole, Charlotte G. | Conquer, Jen S. | Corby, Nicole | Connor, Richard E. | David, Robert | Davies, Joy | Davis, Clay | Davis, John | Delgado, Oliver | DeShazo, Denise | Dhami, Pawandeep | Ding, Yan | Dinh, Huyen | Dodsworth, Steve | Draper, Heather | Dugan-Rocha, Shannon | Dunham, Andrew | Dunn, Matthew | Durbin, K. James | Dutta, Ireena | Eades, Tamsin | Ellwood, Matthew | Emery-Cohen, Alexandra | Errington, Helen | Evans, Kathryn L. | Faulkner, Louisa | Francis, Fiona | Frankland, John | Fraser, Audrey E. | Galgoczy, Petra | Gilbert, James | Gill, Rachel | Glöckner, Gernot | Gregory, Simon G. | Gribble, Susan | Griffiths, Coline | Grocock, Russell | Gu, Yanghong | Gwilliam, Rhian | Hamilton, Cerissa | Hart, Elizabeth A. | Hawes, Alicia | Heath, Paul D. | Heitmann, Katja | Hennig, Steffen | Hernandez, Judith | Hinzmann, Bernd | Ho, Sarah | Hoffs, Michael | Howden, Phillip J. | Huckle, Elizabeth J. | Hume, Jennifer | Hunt, Paul J. | Hunt, Adrienne R. | Isherwood, Judith | Jacob, Leni | Johnson, David | Jones, Sally | de Jong, Pieter J. | Joseph, Shirin S. | Keenan, Stephen | Kelly, Susan | Kershaw, Joanne K. | Khan, Ziad | Kioschis, Petra | Klages, Sven | Knights, Andrew J. | Kosiura, Anna | Kovar-Smith, Christie | Laird, Gavin K. | Langford, Cordelia | Lawlor, Stephanie | Leversha, Margaret | Lewis, Lora | Liu, Wen | Lloyd, Christine | Lloyd, David M. | Loulseged, Hermela | Loveland, Jane E. | Lovell, Jamieson D. | Lozado, Ryan | Lu, Jing | Lyne, Rachael | Ma, Jie | Maheshwari, Manjula | Matthews, Lucy H. | McDowall, Jennifer | McLaren, Stuart | McMurray, Amanda | Meidl, Patrick | Meitinger, Thomas | Milne, Sarah | Miner, George | Mistry, Shailesh L. | Morgan, Margaret | Morris, Sidney | Müller, Ines | Mullikin, James C. | Nguyen, Ngoc | Nordsiek, Gabriele | Nyakatura, Gerald | O’Dell, Christopher N. | Okwuonu, Geoffery | Palmer, Sophie | Pandian, Richard | Parker, David | Parrish, Julia | Pasternak, Shiran | Patel, Dina | Pearce, Alex V. | Pearson, Danita M. | Pelan, Sarah E. | Perez, Lesette | Porter, Keith M. | Ramsey, Yvonne | Reichwald, Kathrin | Rhodes, Susan | Ridler, Kerry A. | Schlessinger, David | Schueler, Mary G. | Sehra, Harminder K. | Shaw-Smith, Charles | Shen, Hua | Sheridan, Elizabeth M. | Shownkeen, Ratna | Skuce, Carl D. | Smith, Michelle L. | Sotheran, Elizabeth C. | Steingruber, Helen E. | Steward, Charles A. | Storey, Roy | Swann, R. Mark | Swarbreck, David | Tabor, Paul E. | Taudien, Stefan | Taylor, Tineace | Teague, Brian | Thomas, Karen | Thorpe, Andrea | Timms, Kirsten | Tracey, Alan | Trevanion, Steve | Tromans, Anthony C. | d’Urso, Michele | Verduzco, Daniel | Villasana, Donna | Waldron, Lenee | Wall, Melanie | Wang, Qiaoyan | Warren, James | Warry, Georgina L. | Wei, Xuehong | West, Anthony | Whitehead, Siobhan L. | Whiteley, Mathew N. | Wilkinson, Jane E. | Willey, David L. | Williams, Gabrielle | Williams, Leanne | Williamson, Angela | Williamson, Helen | Wilming, Laurens | Woodmansey, Rebecca L. | Wray, Paul W. | Yen, Jennifer | Zhang, Jingkun | Zhou, Jianling | Zoghbi, Huda | Zorilla, Sara | Buck, David | Reinhardt, Richard | Poustka, Annemarie | Rosenthal, André | Lehrach, Hans | Meindl, Alfons | Minx, Patrick J. | Hillier, LaDeana W. | Willard, Huntington F. | Wilson, Richard K. | Waterston, Robert H. | Rice, Catherine M. | Vaudin, Mark | Coulson, Alan | Nelson, David L. | Weinstock, George | Sulston, John E. | Durbin, Richard | Hubbard, Tim | Gibbs, Richard A. | Beck, Stephan | Rogers, Jane | Bentley, David R.
Nature  2005;434(7031):325-337.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
PMCID: PMC2665286  PMID: 15772651
3.  Genome-wide expression patterns of invasion front, inner tumor mass and surrounding normal epithelium of colorectal tumors 
Molecular Cancer  2007;6:79.
Colorectal tumors have characteristic genome-wide expression patterns that allow their distinction from normal colon epithelia and facilitate clinical prognosis. The expression heterogeneity within a primary colorectal tumor has not been studied on a genome scale yet. Here we investigated three compartments of colorectal tumors, the invasion front, the inner tumor mass, and surrounding normal epithelial tissue by microdissection and microarray-based expression profiling. In both tumor compartments many genes were differentially expressed when compared to normal epithelium. The sets of significantly deregulated genes in both compartments overlapped to a large extent and revealed various interesting known and novel pathways that could have contributed to tumorigenesis. Cells from the invasion front and inner tumor mass, however, did not show significant differences in their expression profile, neither on the single gene level nor on the pathway level. Instead, gene expression differences between individuals are more pronounced as all patient-matched tumor samples clustered in close proximity to each other. With respect to invasion front and inner tumor mass we conclude that the specific tumor cell micro-environment does not have a strong influence on expression patterns: largely similar genome-wide expression programs operate in the invasion front and interior compartment of a colorectal tumor.
PMCID: PMC2222649  PMID: 18081933
4.  A genome-wide map of aberrantly expressed chromosomal islands in colorectal cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2006;5:37.
Cancer development is accompanied by genetic phenomena like deletion and amplification of chromosome parts or alterations of chromatin structure. It is expected that these mechanisms have a strong effect on regional gene expression.
We investigated genome-wide gene expression in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and normal epithelial tissues from 25 patients using oligonucleotide arrays. This allowed us to identify 81 distinct chromosomal islands with aberrant gene expression. Of these, 38 islands show a gain in expression and 43 a loss of expression. In total, 7.892 genes (25.3% of all human genes) are located in aberrantly expressed islands. Many chromosomal regions that are linked to hereditary colorectal cancer show deregulated expression. Also, many known tumor genes localize to chromosomal islands of misregulated expression in CRC.
An extensive comparison with published CGH data suggests that chromosomal regions known for frequent deletions in colon cancer tend to show reduced expression. In contrast, regions that are often amplified in colorectal tumors exhibit heterogeneous expression patterns: even show a decrease of mRNA expression. Because for several islands of deregulated expression chromosomal aberrations have never been observed, we speculate that additional mechanisms (like abnormal states of regional chromatin) also have a substantial impact on the formation of co-expression islands in colorectal carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC1601966  PMID: 16982006
5.  The Spin/Ssty repeat: a new motif identified in proteins involved in vertebrate development from gamete to embryo 
Genome Biology  2001;3(1):research0003.1-research0003.6.
Spin/Ssty genes might be important in the transition from sperm cells and oocytes to the early embryo. The discovery of a new protein motif of around 50 amino acids in length, the Spin/Ssty repeat is reported. Each repeat resides in its own exon, supporting the view that Spin/Ssty repeats are independent functional units.
The homologous genes Spin (spindlin) and Ssty were first identified as genes involved in gametogenesis and seem to occur in multiple copies in vertebrate genomes. The mouse spindlin (Spin) protein was reported to interact with the spindle apparatus during oogenesis and to be a target for cell-cycle-dependent phosphorylation. The transcript of the mouse Ssty gene is specific to sperm cells. In the chicken, spindlin was found to co-localize with SUMO-1 to nuclear dots during interphase in fibroblasts, but to co-localize with chromosomes during mitosis. Thus, Spin/Ssty genes might be important in the transition from sperm cells and oocytes to the early embryo, as well as in mitosis.
Here we report the discovery of a new protein motif of around 50 amino acids in length, the Spin/Ssty repeat, in proteins of the Spin/Ssty (spindlin) family. We found that in one member of this family, the human SPIN gene, each repeat resides in its own exon, supporting our view that Spin/Ssty repeats are independent functional units. On the basis of different secondary-structure prediction methods, we propose a four-stranded β-structure for the Spin/Ssty repeat.
The discovery of the Spin/Ssty repeat might contribute to the further elucidation of the structure and function of spindlin-family proteins. We predict that the tertiary structure of spindlin-like proteins is composed of three modules of Spin/Ssty repeats.
PMCID: PMC150450  PMID: 11806826
6.  Genome Sequence of Bovine Herpesvirus 4, a Bovine Rhadinovirus, and Identification of an Origin of DNA Replication 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(3):1186-1194.
Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) is a gammaherpesvirus of cattle. The complete long unique coding region (LUR) of BoHV-4 strain 66-p-347 was determined by a shotgun approach. Together with the previously published noncoding terminal repeats, the entire genome sequence of BoHV-4 is now available. The LUR consists of 108,873 bp with an overall G+C content of 41.4%. At least 79 open reading frames (ORFs) are present in this coding region, 17 of them unique to BoHV-4. In contrast to herpesvirus saimiri and human herpesvirus 8, BoHV-4 has a reduced set of ORFs homologous to cellular genes. Gene arrangement as well as phylogenetic analysis confirmed that BoHV-4 is a member of the genus Rhadinovirus. In addition, an origin of replication (ori) in the genome of BoHV-4 was identified by DpnI assays. A minimum of 1.69 kbp located between ORFs 69 and 71 was sufficient to act as a cis signal for replication.
PMCID: PMC114024  PMID: 11152491
7.  MethDB—a public database for DNA methylation data 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):270-274.
Methylation of cytosine in the 5 position of the pyrimidine ring is a major modification of the DNA in most organisms. In eukaryotes, the distribution and number of 5-methylcytosines (5mC) along the DNA is heritable but can also change with the developmental state of the cell and as a response to modifications of the environment. While DNA methylation probably has a number of functions, scientific interest has recently focused on the gene silencing effect methylation can have in eukaryotic cells. In particular, the discovery of changes in the methylation level during cancer development has increased the interest in this field. In the past, a vast amount of data has been generated with different levels of resolution ranging from 5mC content of total DNA to the methylation status of single nucleotides. We present here a database for DNA methylation data that attempts to unify these results in a common resource. The database is accessible via WWW ( It stores information about the origin of the investigated sample and the experimental procedure, and contains the DNA methylation data. Query masks allow for searching for 5mC content, species, tissue, gene, sex, phenotype, sequence ID and DNA type. The output lists all available information including the relative gene expression level. DNA methylation patterns and methylation profiles are shown both as a graphical representation and as G/A/T/C/5mC-sequences or tables with sequence positions and methylation levels, respectively.
PMCID: PMC29842  PMID: 11125109
8.  Genetic snapshots of the Rhizobium species NGR234 genome 
Genome Biology  2000;1(6):research0014.1-14.17.
In nitrate-poor soils, many leguminous plants form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with members of the bacterial family Rhizobiaceae. We selected Rhizobium sp. NGR234 for its exceptionally broad host range, which includes more than I 12 genera of legumes. Unlike the genome of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, which is composed of a single 8.7 Mb chromosome, that of NGR234 is partitioned into three replicons: a chromosome of about 3.5 Mb, a megaplasmid of more than 2 Mb (pNGR234b) and pNGR234a, a 536,165 bp plasmid that carries most of the genes required for symbioses with legumes. Symbiotic loci represent only a small portion of all the genes coded by rhizobial genomes, however. To rapidly characterize the two largest replicons of NGR234, the genome of strain ANU265 (a derivative strain cured of pNGR234a) was analyzed by shotgun sequencing.
Homology searches of public databases with 2,275 random sequences of strain ANU265 resulted in the identification of 1,130 putative protein-coding sequences, of which 922 (41%) could be classified into functional groups. In contrast to the 18% of insertion-like sequences (ISs) found on the symbiotic plasmid pNGR234a, only 2.2% of the shotgun sequences represent known ISs, suggesting that pNGR234a is enriched in such elements. Hybridization data also indicate that the density of known transposable elements is higher in pNGR234b (the megaplasmid) than on the chromosome. Rhizobium-specific intergenic mosaic elements (RIMEs) were found in 35 shotgun sequences, 6 of which carry RIME2 repeats previously thought to be present only in Rhizobium meliloti. As non-overlapping shotgun sequences together represent approximately 10% of ANU265 genome, the chromosome and megaplasmid may carry a total of over 200 RIMEs.
'Skimming' the genome of Rhizobium sp. NGR234 sheds new light on the fine structure and evolution of its replicons, as well as on the integration of symbiotic functions in the genome of a soil bacterium. Although most putative coding sequences could be distributed into functional classes similar to those in Bacillus subtilis, functions related to transposable elements were more abundant in NGR234. In contrast to ISs that accumulated in pNGR234a and pNGR234b, the hundreds of RIME elements seem mostly attributes of the chromosome.
PMCID: PMC16145  PMID: 11178268
9.  MethTools—a toolbox to visualize and analyze DNA methylation data 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(5):1053-1058.
The Bisulfite Genomic Sequencing technique has found wide acceptance for the generation of DNA-methylation maps with single-base resolution. The method is based on the selective deamination of cytosine to uracil (and subsequent conversion to thymine via PCR), whereas 5-methylcytosine residues remain unchanged. Methylation maps are created by the comparison of bisulfite converted sequences with the untreated genomic sequence. ‘MethTools’ is a collection of software tools that replaces the time-consuming manual comparison process, generates graphical outputs of methylation patterns and methylation density, estimates the systematic error of the experiment and searches for conserved methylated nucleotide patterns. The programs are written in Perl 5 and C, and the source code can be downloaded. All tools run independently but the programs are interfaced. Thus, a script can perform the entire analysis procedure automatically. In addition, a web-based remote analysis service is offered. Both the source code and the remote analysis are available at
PMCID: PMC102603  PMID: 10666443
10.  Regorafenib (BAY 73-4506): Antitumor and antimetastatic activities in preclinical models of colorectal cancer 
Regorafenib, a novel multikinase inhibitor, has recently demonstrated overall survival benefits in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Our study aimed to gain further insight into the molecular mechanisms of regorafenib and to assess its potential in combination therapy. Regorafenib was tested alone and in combination with irinotecan in patient-derived (PD) CRC models and a murine CRC liver metastasis model. Mechanism of action was investigated using in vitro functional assays, immunohistochemistry and correlation with CRC-related oncogenes. Regorafenib demonstrated significant inhibition of growth-factor-mediated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 2 and VEGFR3 autophosphorylation, and intracellular VEGFR3 signaling in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HuVECs) and lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs), and also blocked migration of LECs. Furthermore, regorafenib inhibited proliferation in 19 of 25 human CRC cell lines and markedly slowed tumor growth in five of seven PD xenograft models. Combination of regorafenib with irinotecan significantly delayed tumor growth after extended treatment in four xenograft models. Reduced CD31 staining indicates that the antiangiogenic effects of regorafenib contribute to its antitumor activity. Finally, regorafenib significantly delayed disease progression in a murine CRC liver metastasis model by inhibiting the growth of established liver metastases and preventing the formation of new metastases in other organs. In addition, our results suggest that regorafenib displays antimetastatic activity, which may contribute to its efficacy in patients with metastatic CRC. Combination of regorafenib and irinotecan demonstrated an increased antitumor effect and could provide a future treatment option for CRC patients.
What's new?
Regorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic activity recently approved in the US and in Europe for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in patients who failed previous therapies. Here, a research team led by Bayer Pharma AG, the discoverer of the drug, confirms inhibition of key mediators of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis (VEGFR2 and VEGFR3) as the potential antiangiogenic mechanism of action of the drug. Regorafenib further inhibited growth of established and prevented formation of new liver metastases, and in combination with the chemotherapeutic drug irinotecan led to significant tumor growth delay in four patient-derived colorectal cancer xenograft models. The authors speculate that combination treatments including regorafenib may provide novel therapeutic opportunities for patients with therapy-resistant colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC4277327  PMID: 24347491
regorafenib; multikinase inhibitor; antitumorigenesis; antimetastasis; CRC

Results 1-10 (10)