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Laurel, MD, United States

Varma S.,HiThru Analytics LLC | Simpson B.,University of Mississippi Medical Center | Kim M.,Kings College London | Riveros C.,University of Newcastle | And 12 more authors.
Alzheimer's and Dementia

Introduction: Recently, quantitative metabolomics identified a panel of 10 plasma lipids that were highly predictive of conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in cognitively normal older individuals (n = 28, area under the curve [AUC] = 0.92, sensitivity/specificity of 90%/90%). Methods: Quantitative targeted metabolomics in serum using an identical method as in the index study. Results: We failed to replicate these findings in a substantially larger study from two independent cohorts-the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging ([BLSA], n = 93, AUC = 0.642, sensitivity/specificity of 51.6%/65.7%) and the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study ([AGES-RS], n = 100, AUC = 0.395, sensitivity/specificity of 47.0%/36.0%). In analyses applying machine learning methods to all 187 metabolite concentrations assayed, we find a modest signal in the BLSA with distinct metabolites associated with the preclinical and symptomatic stages of AD, whereas the same methods gave poor classification accuracies in the AGES-RS samples. Discussion: We believe that ours is the largest blood biomarker study of preclinical AD to date. These findings underscore the importance of large-scale independent validation of index findings from biomarker studies with relatively small sample sizes. © 2016. Source

Varma S.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Varma S.,HiThru Analytics LLC | Pommier Y.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Sunshine M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 3 more authors.

Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is a powerful technique for detecting gene copy number variation. It is generally considered to be robust and convenient since it measures DNA rather than RNA. In the current study, we combine copy number estimates from four different platforms (Agilent 44 K, NimbleGen 385 K, Affymetrix 500 K and Illumina Human1Mv1-C) to compute a reliable, high-resolution, easy to understand output for the measure of copy number changes in the 60 cancer cells of the NCI-DTP (the NCI-60). We then relate the results to gene expression. We explain how to access that database using our CellMiner web-tool and provide an example of the ease of comparison with transcript expression, whole exome sequencing, microRNA expression and response to 20,000 drugs and other chemical compounds. We then demonstrate how the data can be analyzed integratively with transcript expression data for the whole genome (26,065 genes). Comparison of copy number and expression levels shows an overall medium high correlation (median r = 0.247), with significantly higher correlations (median r = 0.408) for the known tumor suppressor genes. That observation is consistent with the hypothesis that gene loss is an important mechanism for tumor suppressor inactivation. An integrated analysis of concurrent DNA copy number and gene expression change is presented. Limiting attention to focal DNA gains or losses, we identify and reveal novel candidate tumor suppressors with matching alterations in transcript level. Source

Reinhold W.C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Varma S.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Varma S.,HiThru Analytics LLC | Sousa F.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 11 more authors.

Exome sequencing provides unprecedented insights into cancer biology and pharmacological response. Here we assess these two parameters for the NCI-60, which is among the richest genomic and pharmacological publicly available cancer cell line databases. Homozygous genetic variants that putatively affect protein function were identified in 1,199 genes (approximately 6% of all genes). Variants that are either enriched or depleted compared to non-cancerous genomes, and thus may be influential in cancer progression and differential drug response were identified for 2,546 genes. Potential gene knockouts are made available. Assessment of cell line response to 19,940 compounds, including 110 FDA-approved drugs, reveals ≈80-fold range in resistance versus sensitivity response across cell lines. 103,422 gene variants were significantly correlated with at least one compound (at p<0.0002). These include genes of known pharmacological importance such as IGF1R, BRAF, RAD52, MTOR, STAT2 and TSC2 as well as a large number of candidate genes such as NOM1, TLL2, and XDH. We introduce two new web-based CellMiner applications that enable exploration of variant-to-compound relationships for a broad range of researchers, especially those without bioinformatics support. The first tool, "Genetic variant versus drug visualization", provides a visualization of significant correlations between drug activity-gene variant combinations. Examples are given for the known vemurafenib-BRAF, and novel ifosfamide-RAD52 pairings. The second, "Genetic variant summation" allows an assessment of cumulative genetic variations for up to 150 combined genes together; and is designed to identify the variant burden for molecular pathways or functional grouping of genes. An example of its use is provided for the EGFR-ERBB2 pathway gene variant data and the identification of correlated EGFR, ERBB2, MTOR, BRAF, MEK and ERK inhibitors. The new tools are implemented as an updated web-based CellMiner version, for which the present publication serves as a compendium. © 2014 Reinhold et al. Source

Reinhold W.C.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Reinhold W.C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Sunshine M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Sunshine M.,SRA International, Inc. | And 9 more authors.
Cancer Research

High-throughput and high-content databases are increasingly important resources in molecular medicine, systems biology, and pharmacology. However, the information usually resides in unwieldy databases, limiting ready data analysis and integration. One resource that offers substantial potential for improvement in this regard is the NCI-60 cell line database compiled by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which has been extensively characterized across numerous genomic and pharmacologic response platforms. In this report, we introduce a CellMiner (http://discover.nci.nih.gov/cellminer/) web application designed to improve the use of this extensive database. CellMiner tools allowed rapid data retrieval of transcripts for 22,379 genes and 360 microRNAs along with activity reports for 20,503 chemical compounds including 102 drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Converting these differential levels into quantitative patterns across the NCI-60 clarified data organization and cross-comparisons using a novel pattern match tool. Data queries for potential relationships among parameters can be conducted in an iterative manner specific to user interests and expertise. Examples of the in silico discovery process afforded by CellMiner were provided for multidrug resistance analyses and doxorubicin activity; identification of colon-specific genes, microRNAs, and drugs; microRNAs related to the miR-17-92 cluster; and drug identification patterns matched to erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib, and lapatinib. CellMiner greatly broadens applications of the extensive NCI-60 database for discovery by creating web-based processes that are rapid, flexible, and readily applied by users without bioinformatics expertise. ©2012 AACR. Source

Reinhold W.C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Sunshine M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Sunshine M.,Research Applications Corporation | Varma S.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 4 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research

The NCI-60 cancer cell line panel provides a premier model for data integration, and systems pharmacology being the largest publicly available database of anticancer drug activity, genomic, molecular, and phenotypic data. It comprises gene expression (25,722 transcripts), microRNAs (360 miRNAs), whole-genome DNA copy number (23,413 genes), whole-exome sequencing (variants for 16,568 genes), protein levels (94 genes), and cytotoxic activity (20,861 compounds). Included are 158 FDA-approved drugs and 79 that are in clinical trials. To improve data accessibility to bioinformaticists and non-bioinformaticists alike, we have developed the CellMiner web-based tools. Here, we describe the newest CellMiner version, including integration of novel databases and tools associated with whole-exome sequencing and protein expression, and review the tools. Included are (i) "Cell line signature" for DNA, RNA, protein, and drugs; (ii) "Cross correlations" for up to 150 input genes, microRNAs, and compounds in a single query; (iii) "Pattern comparison" to identify connections among drugs, gene expression, genomic variants, microRNA, and protein expressions; (iv) "Geneticvariation versus drug visualization" to identify potential new drug: gene DNA variant relationships; and (v) "Genetic variant summation" designed to provide a synopsis of mutational burden on any pathway or gene group for up to 150 genes. Together, these tools allow users to flexibly query the NCI-60 data for potential relationships between genomic, molecular, and pharmacologic parameters in a manner specific to the user's area of expertise. Examples for both gain- (RAS) and loss-of-function (PTEN) alterations are provided. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research. Source

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