Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Melanoma transcriptome reveals novel genomic alterations not seen before

Date:
February 23, 2010
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, afflicts more than 50,000 people in the United States annually and the incidence rate continues to rise. In a new study, scientists have delved deeper than ever before into the RNA world of the melanoma tumor and identified genomic alterations that could play a role in the disease.

Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, afflicts more than 50,000 people in the United States annually and the incidence rate continues to rise. In a study published online in Genome Research, scientists have delved deeper than ever before into the RNA world of the melanoma tumor and identified genomic alterations that could play a role in the disease.

The latest high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies are ushering in a new era of discovery in cancer genomics that promises to reveal molecular mechanisms of the disease. Beyond cataloging the genetic mutations present in tumors, application of high-throughput sequencing to the RNA "transcriptome" can uncover other genomic alterations missed by DNA sequencing and identify potential targets for therapy.

For example, two adjacent genes can be transcribed together in a single "chimeric" RNA transcript. This RNA message is then translated into a protein with an altered or new function. In addition, rearrangements of the genome can cut and paste genes together, creating "gene fusions." These events occur in normal cells, but they also have the potential to cause disease. Recently these alterations have been detected a few tumor types, and it is very likely that more will be found in other cancers such as melanoma.

To capture the full spectrum of genomic alterations present in the expressed genes of melanoma, a team of researchers in the United States and Switzerland performed an integrative analysis of melanoma tumors using RNA sequencing and structural genomic data. The group identified 11 novel gene fusions involving several common cancer-related genes, and 12 cases of chimeric transcripts. "This is the first direct evidence for these types of genetic alterations in melanoma," said Michael Berger, a research scientist at the Broad Institute and first author of the report.

A particularly interesting finding was that a recurrent chimeric transcript was found involving the CDK2 gene, known to be required for melanoma cell proliferation. The authors suggest that the functional role of the aberrant CDK2 transcript is an attractive target of future investigation. In addition to novel gene fusions and chimeric transcripts, the research group also identified many other alterations in the melanoma tumors, including novel mutations, alternative splice variants, and expression changes.

Berger noted that this type of cancer transcriptome analysis is very appealing, as it complements common DNA-based genomic sequencing and characterization approaches to capture a more complete picture of the cancer genome. "Such studies should help reveal the cancer RNA world," added Levi Garraway, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the study's senior author, "thereby nominating many new genetic targets relevant to tumor biology and drug discovery."

Scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Cambridge, MA), the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA), the University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) contributed to this study.

This work was supported by the Starr Cancer Consortium, the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, and the Adelson Medical Research Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Berger MF, Levin JZ, Vijayendran K, Sivachenko A, Adiconis X, Maguire J, Johnson LA, Robinson J, Verhaak RG, Sougnez C, Onofrio RC, Ziagura L, Cibulskis K, Laine E, Barretina J, Winckler W, Fisher DE, Getz G, Meyerson M, Jaffe DB, Gabriel SB, Lander ES, Dummer R, Gnirke A, Nusbaum C, Garraway LA. Integrative analysis of the melanoma transcriptome. Genome Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1101/gr.103697.109

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Melanoma transcriptome reveals novel genomic alterations not seen before." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222182151.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2010, February 23). Melanoma transcriptome reveals novel genomic alterations not seen before. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222182151.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Melanoma transcriptome reveals novel genomic alterations not seen before." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222182151.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins