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1.  Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC): a resource for therapeutic biomarker discovery in cancer cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(D1):D955-D961.
Alterations in cancer genomes strongly influence clinical responses to treatment and in many instances are potent biomarkers for response to drugs. The Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) database ( is the largest public resource for information on drug sensitivity in cancer cells and molecular markers of drug response. Data are freely available without restriction. GDSC currently contains drug sensitivity data for almost 75 000 experiments, describing response to 138 anticancer drugs across almost 700 cancer cell lines. To identify molecular markers of drug response, cell line drug sensitivity data are integrated with large genomic datasets obtained from the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer database, including information on somatic mutations in cancer genes, gene amplification and deletion, tissue type and transcriptional data. Analysis of GDSC data is through a web portal focused on identifying molecular biomarkers of drug sensitivity based on queries of specific anticancer drugs or cancer genes. Graphical representations of the data are used throughout with links to related resources and all datasets are fully downloadable. GDSC provides a unique resource incorporating large drug sensitivity and genomic datasets to facilitate the discovery of new therapeutic biomarkers for cancer therapies.
PMCID: PMC3531057  PMID: 23180760
4.  BioMart Central Portal: an open database network for the biological community 
BioMart Central Portal is a first of its kind, community-driven effort to provide unified access to dozens of biological databases spanning genomics, proteomics, model organisms, cancer data, ontology information and more. Anybody can contribute an independently maintained resource to the Central Portal, allowing it to be exposed to and shared with the research community, and linking it with the other resources in the portal. Users can take advantage of the common interface to quickly utilize different sources without learning a new system for each. The system also simplifies cross-database searches that might otherwise require several complicated steps. Several integrated tools streamline common tasks, such as converting between ID formats and retrieving sequences. The combination of a wide variety of databases, an easy-to-use interface, robust programmatic access and the array of tools make Central Portal a one-stop shop for biological data querying. Here, we describe the structure of Central Portal and show example queries to demonstrate its capabilities.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3263598  PMID: 21930507
5.  Data mining using the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer BioMart 
Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) ( is a publicly available resource providing information on somatic mutations implicated in human cancer. Release v51 (January 2011) includes data from just over 19 000 genes, 161 787 coding mutations and 5573 gene fusions, described in more than 577 000 tumour samples. COSMICMart (COSMIC BioMart) provides a flexible way to mine these data and combine somatic mutations with other biological relevant data sets. This article describes the data available in COSMIC along with examples of how to successfully mine and integrate data sets using COSMICMart.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3263736  PMID: 21609966
6.  COSMIC: mining complete cancer genomes in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(Database issue):D945-D950.
COSMIC ( curates comprehensive information on somatic mutations in human cancer. Release v48 (July 2010) describes over 136 000 coding mutations in almost 542 000 tumour samples; of the 18 490 genes documented, 4803 (26%) have one or more mutations. Full scientific literature curations are available on 83 major cancer genes and 49 fusion gene pairs (19 new cancer genes and 30 new fusion pairs this year) and this number is continually increasing. Key amongst these is TP53, now available through a collaboration with the IARC p53 database. In addition to data from the Cancer Genome Project (CGP) at the Sanger Institute, UK, and The Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA), large systematic screens are also now curated. Major website upgrades now make these data much more mineable, with many new selection filters and graphics. A Biomart is now available allowing more automated data mining and integration with other biological databases. Annotation of genomic features has become a significant focus; COSMIC has begun curating full-genome resequencing experiments, developing new web pages, export formats and graphics styles. With all genomic information recently updated to GRCh37, COSMIC integrates many diverse types of mutation information and is making much closer links with Ensembl and other data resources.
PMCID: PMC3013785  PMID: 20952405
7.  Systematic sequencing of renal carcinoma reveals inactivation of histone modifying genes 
Nature  2010;463(7279):360-363.
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common form of adult kidney cancer, characterised by the presence of inactivating mutations in the VHL gene in the majority of cases1,2 and by infrequent somatic mutations in known cancer genes. To elucidate further the genetics of ccRCC, we have sequenced 101 cases through 3544 protein coding genes. Here we report the identification of inactivating mutations in two genes encoding enzymes involved in histone modification, SETD2, a histone H3 lysine 36 methyltransferase and JARID1C (KDM5C), a histone H3 lysine 4 demethylase in addition to mutations in the histone H3 lysine 27 demethylase, UTX (KMD6A), we recently reported3. The results highlight the role of mutations in components of the chromatin modification machinery in human cancer. Additionally, NF2 mutations were found in non-VHL mutated ccRCC and several other likely cancer genes were identified. These results indicate that substantial genetic heterogeneity exists in a cancer type dominated by mutations in a single gene and that systematic screens will be key to fully elucidating the somatic genetic architecture of cancer.
PMCID: PMC2820242  PMID: 20054297
8.  Somatic mutations of the histone H3K27 demethylase, UTX, in human cancer 
Nature genetics  2009;41(5):521-523.
Somatically acquired epigenetic changes are present in many cancers. Epigenetic regulation is maintained via post-translational modifications of core histones. Here, we describe inactivating somatic mutations in the histone lysine demethylase, UTX, pointing to histone H3 lysine methylation deregulation in multiple tumour types. UTX reintroduction into cancer cells with inactivating UTX mutations resulted in slowing of proliferation and marked transcriptional changes. These data identify UTX as a new human cancer gene.
PMCID: PMC2873835  PMID: 19330029
9.  COSMIC (the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer): a resource to investigate acquired mutations in human cancer 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D652-D657.
The catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) ( is the largest public resource for information on somatically acquired mutations in human cancer and is available freely without restrictions. Currently (v43, August 2009), COSMIC contains details of 1.5-million experiments performed through 13 423 genes in almost 370 000 tumours, describing over 90 000 individual mutations. Data are gathered from two sources, publications in the scientific literature, (v43 contains 7797 curated articles) and the full output of the genome-wide screens from the Cancer Genome Project (CGP) at the Sanger Institute, UK. Most of the world’s literature on point mutations in human cancer has now been curated into COSMIC and while this is continually updated, a greater emphasis on curating fusion gene mutations is driving the expansion of this information; over 2700 fusion gene mutations are now described. Whole-genome sequencing screens are now identifying large numbers of genomic rearrangements in cancer and COSMIC is now displaying details of these analyses also. Examination of COSMIC’s data is primarily web-driven, focused on providing mutation range and frequency statistics based upon a choice of gene and/or cancer phenotype. Graphical views provide easily interpretable summaries of large quantities of data, and export functions can provide precise details of user-selected data.
PMCID: PMC2808858  PMID: 19906727
10.  Recurrent KRAS Codon 146 Mutations in Human Colorectal Cancer 
Cancer biology & therapy  2006;5(8):928-932.
An activating point mutation in codon 12 of the HRAS gene was the first somatic point mutation identified in a human cancer and established the role of somatic mutations as the common driver of oncogenesis. Since then, there have been over 11,000 mutations in the three RAS (HRAS, KRAS and NRAS) genes in codons 12, 13 and 61 reported in the literature. We report here the identification of recurrent somatic missense mutations at alanine 146, a highly conserved residue in the guanine nucleotide binding domain. In two independent series of colorectal cancers from Hong Kong and the United States we detected KRAS A146 mutations in 7/126 and 2/94 cases, respectively, giving a combined frequency of 4%. We also detected KRAS A146 mutations in 2/40 (5%) colorectal cell lines, including the NCI-60 colorectal cancer line HCC2998. Codon 146 mutations thus are likely to make an equal or greater contribution to colorectal cancer than codon 61 mutations (4.2% in our combined series, 1% in the literature). Lung adenocarcinomas and large cell carcinomas did not show codon 146 mutations. We did, however, identify a KRAS A146 mutation in the ML-2 acute myeloid leukemia cell line and an NRAS A146 mutation in the NALM-6 B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia line, suggesting that the contribution of codon 146 mutations is not entirely restricted to colorectal cancers or to KRAS.
PMCID: PMC2714972  PMID: 16969076
KRAS; colorectal; cancer; mutation; A146
11.  Patterns of somatic mutation in human cancer genomes 
Nature  2007;446(7132):153-158.
Cancers arise owing to mutations in a subset of genes that confer growth advantage. The availability of the human genome sequence led us to propose that systematic resequencing of cancer genomes for mutations would lead to the discovery of many additional cancer genes. Here we report more than 1,000 somatic mutations found in 274 megabases (Mb) of DNA corresponding to the coding exons of 518 protein kinase genes in 210 diverse human cancers. There was substantial variation in the number and pattern of mutations in individual cancers reflecting different exposures, DNA repair defects and cellular origins. Most somatic mutations are likely to be ‘passengers’ that do not contribute to oncogenesis. However, there was evidence for ‘driver’ mutations contributing to the development of the cancers studied in approximately 120 genes. Systematic sequencing of cancer genomes therefore reveals the evolutionary diversity of cancers and implicates a larger repertoire of cancer genes than previously anticipated.
PMCID: PMC2712719  PMID: 17344846
12.  Mutation analysis of 24 known cancer genes in the NCI-60 cell line set 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2006;5(11):2606-2612.
The panel of 60 human cancer cell lines (the NCI-60) assembled by the National Cancer Institute for anticancer drug discovery is a widely used resource. The NCI-60 has been characterized pharmacologically and at the molecular level more extensively than any other set of cell lines. However, no systematic mutation analysis of genes causally implicated in oncogenesis has been reported. This study reports the sequence analysis of 24 known cancer genes in the NCI-60 and an assessment of 4 of the 24 genes for homozygous deletions. One hundred thirty-seven oncogenic mutations were identified in 14 (APC, BRAF, CDKN2, CTNNB1, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, SMAD4, PIK3CA, PTEN, RB1, STK11, TP53, and VHL) of the 24 genes. All lines have at least one mutation among the cancer genes examined, with most lines (73%) having more than one. Identification of those cancer genes mutated in the NCI-60, in combination with pharmacologic and molecular profiles of the cells, will allow for more informed interpretation of anticancer agent screening and will enhance the use of the NCI-60 cell lines for molecularly targeted screens.
PMCID: PMC2705832  PMID: 17088437
13.  Variation analysis and gene annotation of eight MHC haplotypes: The MHC Haplotype Project 
Immunogenetics  2008;60(1):1-18.
The human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is contained within about 4 Mb on the short arm of chromosome 6 and is recognised as the most variable region in the human genome. The primary aim of the MHC Haplotype Project was to provide a comprehensively annotated reference sequence of a single, human leukocyte antigen-homozygous MHC haplotype and to use it as a basis against which variations could be assessed from seven other similarly homozygous cell lines, representative of the most common MHC haplotypes in the European population. Comparison of the haplotype sequences, including four haplotypes not previously analysed, resulted in the identification of >44,000 variations, both substitutions and indels (insertions and deletions), which have been submitted to the dbSNP database. The gene annotation uncovered haplotype-specific differences and confirmed the presence of more than 300 loci, including over 160 protein-coding genes. Combined analysis of the variation and annotation datasets revealed 122 gene loci with coding substitutions of which 97 were non-synonymous. The haplotype (A3-B7-DR15; PGF cell line) designated as the new MHC reference sequence, has been incorporated into the human genome assembly (NCBI35 and subsequent builds), and constitutes the largest single-haplotype sequence of the human genome to date. The extensive variation and annotation data derived from the analysis of seven further haplotypes have been made publicly available and provide a framework and resource for future association studies of all MHC-associated diseases and transplant medicine.
PMCID: PMC2206249  PMID: 18193213
Major histocompatibility complex; Haplotype; Polymorphism; Retroelement; Genetic predisposition to disease; Population genetics
14.  An Mspl polymorphism at the DXS11 locus 
Nucleic Acids Research  1992;20(5):1162.
PMCID: PMC312130  PMID: 1372405

Results 1-14 (14)