Publications by authors named "Stacy S Hung"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Tumor-associated antigen PRAME exhibits dualistic functions that are targetable in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

J Clin Invest 2022 May;132(10)

Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

PRAME is a prominent member of the cancer testis antigen family of proteins, which triggers autologous T cell-mediated immune responses. Integrative genomic analysis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) uncovered recurrent and highly focal deletions of 22q11.22, including the PRAME gene, which were associated with poor outcome. PRAME-deleted tumors showed cytotoxic T cell immune escape and were associated with cold tumor microenvironments. In addition, PRAME downmodulation was strongly associated with somatic EZH2 Y641 mutations in DLBCL. In turn, PRC2-regulated genes were repressed in isogenic PRAME-KO lymphoma cell lines, and PRAME was found to directly interact with EZH2 as a negative regulator. EZH2 inhibition with EPZ-6438 abrogated these extrinsic and intrinsic effects, leading to PRAME expression and microenvironment restoration in vivo. Our data highlight multiple functions of PRAME during lymphomagenesis and provide a preclinical rationale for synergistic therapies combining epigenetic reprogramming with PRAME-targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI145343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9106353PMC
May 2022

Characterization of DLBCL with a PMBL gene expression signature.

Blood 2021 07;138(2):136-148

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) is a type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma that typically affects young adults, characterized by presence of a bulky anterior mediastinal mass. Lymphomas with gene expression features of PMBL have been described in nonmediastinal sites, raising questions about how these tumors should be classified. Here, we investigated whether these nonmediastinal lymphomas are indeed PMBLs or instead represent a distinct group within diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). From a cohort of 325 de novo DLBCL cases, we identified tumors from patients without evidence of anterior mediastinal involvement that expressed a PMBL expression signature (nm-PMBLsig+; n = 16; 5%). A majority of these tumors expressed MAL and CD23, proteins typically observed in bona fide PMBL (bf-PMBL). Evaluation of clinical features of nm-PMBLsig+ cases revealed close associations with DLBCL, and a majority displayed a germinal center B cell-like cell of origin (GCB). In contrast to patients with bf-PMBL, patients with nm-PMBLsig+ presented at an older age and did not show pleural disease, and bone/bone marrow involvement was observed in 3 cases. However, although clinically distinct from bf-PMBL, nm-PMBLsig+ tumors resembled bf-PMBL at the molecular level, with upregulation of immune response, JAK-STAT, and NF-κB signatures. Mutational analysis revealed frequent somatic gene mutations in SOCS1, IL4R, ITPKB, and STAT6, as well as CD83 and BIRC3, with the latter genes significantly more frequently affected than in GCB DLBCL or bf-PMBL. Our data establish nm-PMBLsig+ lymphomas as a group within DLBCL with distinct phenotypic and genetic features. These findings may have implications for gene expression- and mutation-based subtyping of aggressive B-cell lymphomas and related targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007683DOI Listing
July 2021

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase localizes to G-quadruplex motifs at mutation hotspots in lymphoma.

NAR Cancer 2020 Dec 13;2(4):zcaa029. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a molecularly heterogeneous group of malignancies with frequent genetic abnormalities. G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures may facilitate this genomic instability through association with activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), an antibody diversification enzyme implicated in mutation of oncogenes in B-cell lymphomas. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing analyses in this study revealed that AID hotspots in both activated B cells and lymphoma cells were highly enriched for G4 elements. A representative set of these targeted sequences was validated for characteristic, stable G4 structure formation including previously unknown G4s in lymphoma-associated genes, , , ,  and , along with the established and structures. Frequent genome-wide G4 formation was also detected for the first time in DLBCL patient-derived tissues using BG4, a structure-specific G4 antibody. Tumors with greater staining were more likely to have concurrent and oncogene amplification and mutations. Ninety-seven percent of the mutations occurred within G4 sites that overlapped with AID binding. G4 localization at sites of mutation, and within aggressive DLBCL tumors harboring amplified and , supports a role for G4 structures in events that lead to a loss of genomic integrity, a critical step in B-cell lymphomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/narcan/zcaa029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556405PMC
December 2020

Mutational landscape of gray zone lymphoma.

Blood 2021 04;137(13):1765-1776

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, British Columbia Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The mutational landscape of gray zone lymphoma (GZL) has not yet been established, and differences from related entities are largely unknown. Here, we studied coding sequence mutations of 50 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative GZLs and 20 polymorphic EBV+ diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified (poly-EBV-L) in comparison with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), and DLBCL. Exomes of 21 GZL and 7 poly-EBV-L cases, along with paired constitutional DNA, were analyzed as a discovery cohort, followed by targeted sequencing of 217 genes in an extension cohort of 29 GZL and 13 poly-EBV-L cases. GZL cases with thymic niche involvement (anterior mediastinal mass) exhibited a mutation profile closely resembling cHL and PMBCL, with SOCS1 (45%), B2M (45%), TNFAIP3 (35%), GNA13 (35%), LRRN3 (32%), and NFKBIA (29%) being the most recurrently mutated genes. In contrast, GZL cases without thymic niche involvement (n = 18) had a significantly distinct pattern that was enriched in mutations related to apoptosis defects (TP53 [39%], BCL2 [28%], BIRC6 [22%]) and depleted in GNA13, XPO1, or NF-κB signaling pathway mutations (TNFAIP3, NFKBIE, IKBKB, NFKBIA). They also exhibited more BCL2/BCL6 rearrangements compared with thymic GZL. Poly-EBV-L cases presented a distinct mutational profile, including STAT3 mutations and a significantly lower coding mutation load in comparison with EBV- GZL. Our study highlights characteristic mutational patterns in GZL associated with presentation in the thymic niche, suggesting a common cell of origin and disease evolution overlapping with related anterior mediastinal lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020007507DOI Listing
April 2021

Brentuximab vedotin in combination with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone as frontline treatment for patients with CD30-positive B-cell lymphomas.

Haematologica 2021 06 1;106(6):1705-1713. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

We conducted a phase I/II multicenter trial using 6 cycles of brentuximab vedotin (BV) in combination with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone (R-CHP) for treatment of patients with CD30-positive (+) B-cell lymphomas. Thirty-one patients were evaluable for toxicity and 29 for efficacy including 22 with primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), 5 with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and 2 with gray zone lymphoma (GZL). There were no treatment-related deaths; 32% of patients had non-hematological grade 3/4 toxicities. The overall response rate was 100% (95% CI: 88-100) with 86% (95% CI: 68-96) of patients achieving complete response at the end of systemic treatment. Consolidative radiation following end of treatment response assessment was permissible and used in 52% of all patients including 59% of patients with PMBCL. With a median follow-up of 30 months, the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 85% (95% CI: 66-94) and 100%, respectively. In the PMBCL cohort, 2-year PFS was 86% (95% CI: 62-95). In summary, BV-R-CHP with or without consolidative radiation is a feasible and active frontline regimen for CD30+ B-cell lymphomas (NCT01994850).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.238675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168499PMC
June 2021

Integrative genomic analysis identifies key pathogenic mechanisms in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood 2019 09 10;134(10):802-813. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

British Columbia Cancer, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) represents a clinically and pathologically distinct subtype of large B-cell lymphomas. Furthermore, molecular studies, including global gene expression profiling, have provided evidence that PMBL is more closely related to classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Although targeted sequencing studies have revealed a number of mutations involved in PMBL pathogenesis, a comprehensive description of disease-associated genetic alterations and perturbed pathways is still lacking. Here, we performed whole-exome sequencing of 95 PMBL tumors to inform on oncogenic driver genes and recurrent copy number alterations. The integration of somatic gene mutations with gene expression signatures provides further insights into genotype-phenotype interrelation in PMBL. We identified highly recurrent oncogenic mutations in the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription and nuclear factor κB pathways, and provide additional evidence of the importance of immune evasion in PMBL ( and ). Our analyses highlight the interferon response factor (IRF) pathway as a putative novel hallmark with frequent alterations in multiple pathway members ( and ). In addition, our integrative analysis illustrates the importance of and mutations driving oncogenic signaling. The identified driver genes were significantly more frequently mutated in PMBL compared with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, whereas only a limited number of genes were significantly different between PMBL and cHL, emphasizing the close relation between these entities. Our study, performed on a large cohort of PMBL, highlights the importance of distinctive genetic alterations for disease taxonomy with relevance for diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019001126DOI Listing
September 2019

Somatic IL4R mutations in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma lead to constitutive JAK-STAT signaling activation.

Blood 2018 05 21;131(18):2036-2046. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.

Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is a distinct subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma thought to arise from thymic medullary B cells. Gene mutations underlying the molecular pathogenesis of the disease are incompletely characterized. Here, we describe novel somatic mutations in 15 of 62 primary cases of PMBCL (24.2%) and in all PMBCL-derived cell lines tested. The majority of mutations (11/21; 52%) were hotspot single nucleotide variants in exon 8, leading to an I242N amino acid change in the transmembrane domain. Functional analyses establish this mutation as gain of function leading to constitutive activation of the JAK-STAT pathway and upregulation of downstream cytokine expression profiles and B cell-specific antigens. Moreover, expression of I242N mutant IL4R in a mouse xenotransplantation model conferred growth advantage in vivo. The pattern of concurrent mutations within the JAK-STAT signaling pathway suggests additive/synergistic effects of these gene mutations contributing to lymphomagenesis. Our data establish mutations as novel driver alterations and provide a strong preclinical rationale for therapeutic targeting of JAK-STAT signaling in PMBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-09-808907DOI Listing
May 2018

Assessment of Capture and Amplicon-Based Approaches for the Development of a Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Pipeline to Personalize Lymphoma Management.

J Mol Diagn 2018 03 8;20(2):203-214. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Electronic address:

Targeted next-generation sequencing panels are increasingly used to assess the value of gene mutations for clinical diagnostic purposes. For assay development, amplicon-based methods have been preferentially used on the basis of short preparation time and small DNA input amounts. However, capture sequencing has emerged as an alternative approach because of high testing accuracy. We compared capture hybridization and amplicon sequencing approaches using fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples from eight lymphoma patients. Next, we developed a targeted sequencing pipeline using a 32-gene panel for accurate detection of actionable mutations in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples of the most common lymphocytic malignancies: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma. We show that hybrid capture is superior to amplicon sequencing by providing deep more uniform coverage and yielding higher sensitivity for variant calling. Sanger sequencing of 588 variants identified specificity limits of thresholds for mutation calling, and orthogonal validation on 66 cases indicated 93% concordance with whole-genome sequencing. The developed pipeline and assay identified at least one actionable mutation in 91% of tumors from 219 lymphoma patients and revealed subtype-specific mutation patterns and frequencies consistent with the literature. This pipeline is an accurate and sensitive method for identifying actionable gene mutations in routinely acquired biopsy materials, suggesting further assessment of capture-based assays in the context of personalized lymphoma management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2017.11.010DOI Listing
March 2018

Combined Use of Gene Expression Modeling and siRNA Screening Identifies Genes and Pathways Which Enhance the Activity of Cisplatin When Added at No Effect Levels to Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells In Vitro.

PLoS One 2016 3;11(3):e0150675. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Experimental Therapeutics, BC Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Platinum-based combination chemotherapy is the standard treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). While cisplatin is effective, its use is not curative and resistance often emerges. As a consequence of microenvironmental heterogeneity, many tumour cells are exposed to sub-lethal doses of cisplatin. Further, genomic heterogeneity and unique tumor cell sub-populations with reduced sensitivities to cisplatin play a role in its effectiveness within a site of tumor growth. Being exposed to sub-lethal doses will induce changes in gene expression that contribute to the tumour cell's ability to survive and eventually contribute to the selective pressures leading to cisplatin resistance. Such changes in gene expression, therefore, may contribute to cytoprotective mechanisms. Here, we report on studies designed to uncover how tumour cells respond to sub-lethal doses of cisplatin. A microarray study revealed changes in gene expressions that occurred when A549 cells were exposed to a no-observed-effect level (NOEL) of cisplatin (e.g. the IC10). These data were integrated with results from a genome-wide siRNA screen looking for novel therapeutic targets that when inhibited transformed a NOEL of cisplatin into one that induced significant increases in lethality. Pathway analyses were performed to identify pathways that could be targeted to enhance cisplatin activity. We found that over 100 genes were differentially expressed when A549 cells were exposed to a NOEL of cisplatin. Pathways associated with apoptosis and DNA repair were activated. The siRNA screen revealed the importance of the hedgehog, cell cycle regulation, and insulin action pathways in A549 cell survival and response to cisplatin treatment. Results from both datasets suggest that RRM2B, CABYR, ALDH3A1, and FHL2 could be further explored as cisplatin-enhancing gene targets. Finally, pathways involved in repairing double-strand DNA breaks and INO80 chromatin remodeling were enriched in both datasets, warranting further research into combinations of cisplatin and therapeutics targeting these pathways.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0150675PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777418PMC
August 2016

Systems-based analysis of the Sarcocystis neurona genome identifies pathways that contribute to a heteroxenous life cycle.

mBio 2015 Feb 10;6(1). Epub 2015 Feb 10.

Unlabelled: Sarcocystis neurona is a member of the coccidia, a clade of single-celled parasites of medical and veterinary importance including Eimeria, Sarcocystis, Neospora, and Toxoplasma. Unlike Eimeria, a single-host enteric pathogen, Sarcocystis, Neospora, and Toxoplasma are two-host parasites that infect and produce infectious tissue cysts in a wide range of intermediate hosts. As a genus, Sarcocystis is one of the most successful protozoan parasites; all vertebrates, including birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals are hosts to at least one Sarcocystis species. Here we sequenced Sarcocystis neurona, the causal agent of fatal equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. The S. neurona genome is 127 Mbp, more than twice the size of other sequenced coccidian genomes. Comparative analyses identified conservation of the invasion machinery among the coccidia. However, many dense-granule and rhoptry kinase genes, responsible for altering host effector pathways in Toxoplasma and Neospora, are absent from S. neurona. Further, S. neurona has a divergent repertoire of SRS proteins, previously implicated in tissue cyst formation in Toxoplasma. Systems-based analyses identified a series of metabolic innovations, including the ability to exploit alternative sources of energy. Finally, we present an S. neurona model detailing conserved molecular innovations that promote the transition from a purely enteric lifestyle (Eimeria) to a heteroxenous parasite capable of infecting a wide range of intermediate hosts.

Importance: Sarcocystis neurona is a member of the coccidia, a clade of single-celled apicomplexan parasites responsible for major economic and health care burdens worldwide. A cousin of Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, Theileria, and Eimeria, Sarcocystis is one of the most successful parasite genera; it is capable of infecting all vertebrates (fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals-including humans). The past decade has witnessed an increasing number of human outbreaks of clinical significance associated with acute sarcocystosis. Among Sarcocystis species, S. neurona has a wide host range and causes fatal encephalitis in horses, marine mammals, and several other mammals. To provide insights into the transition from a purely enteric parasite (e.g., Eimeria) to one that forms tissue cysts (Toxoplasma), we present the first genome sequence of S. neurona. Comparisons with other coccidian genomes highlight the molecular innovations that drive its distinct life cycle strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02445-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337577PMC
February 2015

Genomic analysis of the causative agents of coccidiosis in domestic chickens.

Genome Res 2014 Oct 11;24(10):1676-85. Epub 2014 Jul 11.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, United Kingdom;

Global production of chickens has trebled in the past two decades and they are now the most important source of dietary animal protein worldwide. Chickens are subject to many infectious diseases that reduce their performance and productivity. Coccidiosis, caused by apicomplexan protozoa of the genus Eimeria, is one of the most important poultry diseases. Understanding the biology of Eimeria parasites underpins development of new drugs and vaccines needed to improve global food security. We have produced annotated genome sequences of all seven species of Eimeria that infect domestic chickens, which reveal the full extent of previously described repeat-rich and repeat-poor regions and show that these parasites possess the most repeat-rich proteomes ever described. Furthermore, while no other apicomplexan has been found to possess retrotransposons, Eimeria is home to a family of chromoviruses. Analysis of Eimeria genes involved in basic biology and host-parasite interaction highlights adaptations to a relatively simple developmental life cycle and a complex array of co-expressed surface proteins involved in host cell binding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.168955.113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4199364PMC
October 2014

Metabolic reconstruction identifies strain-specific regulation of virulence in Toxoplasma gondii.

Mol Syst Biol 2013 Nov 19;9:708. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

1] Program in Molecular Structure and Function, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada [2] Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Increasingly, metabolic potential is proving to be a critical determinant governing a pathogen's virulence as well as its capacity to expand its host range. To understand the potential contribution of metabolism to strain-specific infectivity differences, we present a constraint-based metabolic model of the opportunistic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. Dominated by three clonal strains (Type I, II, and III demonstrating distinct virulence profiles), T. gondii exhibits a remarkably broad host range. Integrating functional genomic data, our model (which we term as iCS382) reveals that observed strain-specific differences in growth rates are driven by altered capacities for energy production. We further predict strain-specific differences in drug susceptibilities and validate one of these predictions in a drug-based assay, with a Type I strain demonstrating resistance to inhibitors that are effective against a Type II strain. We propose that these observed differences reflect an evolutionary strategy that allows the parasite to extend its host range, as well as result in a subsequent partitioning into discrete strains that display altered virulence profiles across different hosts, different organs, and even cell types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/msb.2013.62DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039375PMC
November 2013

The genomes of four tapeworm species reveal adaptations to parasitism.

Nature 2013 Apr 13;496(7443):57-63. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

University of Würzburg, Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology, Würzburg, Germany.

Tapeworms (Cestoda) cause neglected diseases that can be fatal and are difficult to treat, owing to inefficient drugs. Here we present an analysis of tapeworm genome sequences using the human-infective species Echinococcus multilocularis, E. granulosus, Taenia solium and the laboratory model Hymenolepis microstoma as examples. The 115- to 141-megabase genomes offer insights into the evolution of parasitism. Synteny is maintained with distantly related blood flukes but we find extreme losses of genes and pathways that are ubiquitous in other animals, including 34 homeobox families and several determinants of stem cell fate. Tapeworms have specialized detoxification pathways, metabolism that is finely tuned to rely on nutrients scavenged from their hosts, and species-specific expansions of non-canonical heat shock proteins and families of known antigens. We identify new potential drug targets, including some on which existing pharmaceuticals may act. The genomes provide a rich resource to underpin the development of urgently needed treatments and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964345PMC
April 2013

Generation and analysis of a mouse intestinal metatranscriptome through Illumina based RNA-sequencing.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(4):e36009. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Program in Molecular Structure and Function, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

With the advent of high through-put sequencing (HTS), the emerging science of metagenomics is transforming our understanding of the relationships of microbial communities with their environments. While metagenomics aims to catalogue the genes present in a sample through assessing which genes are actively expressed, metatranscriptomics can provide a mechanistic understanding of community inter-relationships. To achieve these goals, several challenges need to be addressed from sample preparation to sequence processing, statistical analysis and functional annotation. Here we use an inbred non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model in which germ-free animals were colonized with a defined mixture of eight commensal bacteria, to explore methods of RNA extraction and to develop a pipeline for the generation and analysis of metatranscriptomic data. Applying the Illumina HTS platform, we sequenced 12 NOD cecal samples prepared using multiple RNA-extraction protocols. The absence of a complete set of reference genomes necessitated a peptide-based search strategy. Up to 16% of sequence reads could be matched to a known bacterial gene. Phylogenetic analysis of the mapped ORFs revealed a distribution consistent with ribosomal RNA, the majority from Bacteroides or Clostridium species. To place these HTS data within a systems context, we mapped the relative abundance of corresponding Escherichia coli homologs onto metabolic and protein-protein interaction networks. These maps identified bacterial processes with components that were well-represented in the datasets. In summary this study highlights the potential of exploiting the economy of HTS platforms for metatranscriptomics.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0036009PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338770PMC
September 2012

Post-genomics resources and tools for studying apicomplexan metabolism.

Trends Parasitol 2011 Mar 8;27(3):131-40. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

Program in Molecular Structure and Function, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 species of obligate intracellular parasites, many responsible for diseases that significantly impact human health and economics. To aid drug development programs, global sequencing initiatives are generating increasing numbers of apicomplexan genomes. The challenge is how best to exploit these resources to identify effective therapeutic targets. Because of its important role in growth and maintenance, much interest has centred on metabolism. However, in the absence of detailed biochemical data, reconstructing the metabolic potential from a fully sequenced genome remains problematic. In this review current resources and tools facilitating the metabolic reconstruction for apicomplexans are examined. Furthermore, how these datasets can be utilized to explore the metabolic capabilities of apicomplexans are discussed and targets for therapeutic intervention are prioritized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2010.11.003DOI Listing
March 2011

DETECT--a density estimation tool for enzyme classification and its application to Plasmodium falciparum.

Bioinformatics 2010 Jul 30;26(14):1690-8. Epub 2010 May 30.

Program in Molecular Structure and Function, Hospital for Sick Children, 15-704 MaRS TMDT East, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada.

Motivation: A major challenge in genomics is the accurate annotation of component genes. Enzymes are typically predicted using homology-based search methods, where the membership of a protein to an enzyme family is based on single-sequence comparisons. As such, these methods are often error-prone and lack useful measures of reliability for the prediction.

Results: Here, we present DETECT, a probabilistic method for enzyme prediction that accounts for the sequence diversity across enzyme families. By comparing the global alignment scores of an unknown protein to those of all known enzymes, an integrated likelihood score can be readily calculated, ranking the reaction classes relevant for that protein. Comparisons to BLAST reveal significant improvements in enzyme annotation accuracy. Applied to Plasmodium falciparum, we identify potential annotation errors and predict novel enzymes of therapeutic interest.

Availability: A standalone application is available from the website: http://www.compsysbio.org/projects/DETECT/
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btq266DOI Listing
July 2010
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