Victorian Center for Functional Genomics

East Melbourne, Australia

Victorian Center for Functional Genomics

East Melbourne, Australia
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Simpson K.J.,Victorian Center for Functional Genomics | Simpson K.J.,University of Melbourne | Smith J.A.,Harvard University
Scientific Data | Year: 2017

This week, Scientific Data published a collection of eight papers that describe datasets from high-throughput functional genomics screens, primarily utilizing RNA interference (RNAi). The publications explore host-pathogen dependencies, innate immune response, disease pathways, and cell morphology and motility at the genome-level. All data, including raw images from the high content screens, are publically available in PubChem BioAssay, figshare, Harvard Dataverse or the Image Data Resource (IDR). Detailed data descriptors enable use of these data for analysis algorithm design, machine learning, data comparisons, as well as generating new scientific hypotheses. © The Author(s) 2017.

PubMed | Monash University, Sarawak Biodiversity Center, Victorian Center for Functional Genomics, RMIT University and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal for parasitology. Drugs and drug resistance | Year: 2016

Anthelmintic resistance is widespread in gastrointestinal nematode populations, such that there is a consistent need to search for new anthelmintics. However, the cost of screening for new compounds is high and has a very low success rate. Using the knowledge of traditional healers from Borneo Rainforests (Sarawak, Malaysia), we have previously shown that some traditional medicinal plants are a rich source of potential new anthelmintic drug candidates. In this study, Picria fel-terrae Lour. plant extract, which has previously shown promising anthelmintic activities, was fractionated via the use of a solid phase extraction cartridge and each isolated fraction was then tested on free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus. We found that a single fraction was enriched for nematocidal activity, killing 90% of C.elegans adults and inhibiting the motility of exsheathed L3 of H.contortus, while having minimal cytotoxic activity in mammalian cell culture. Metabolic profiling and chemometric analysis of the effective fraction indicated medium chained fatty acids and phenolic acids were highly represented.

PubMed | Victorian Center for Functional Genomics, National University of Singapore and CSIRO
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS pathogens | Year: 2016

Hendra and Nipah viruses (family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus) are bat-borne viruses that cause fatal disease in humans and a range of other mammalian species. Gaining a deeper understanding of host pathways exploited by henipaviruses for infection may identify targets for new anti-viral therapies. Here we have performed genome-wide high-throughput agonist and antagonist screens at biosafety level 4 to identify host-encoded microRNAs (miRNAs) impacting henipavirus infection in human cells. Members of the miR-181 and miR-17~93 families strongly promoted Hendra virus infection. miR-181 also promoted Nipah virus infection, but did not affect infection by paramyxoviruses from other genera, indicating specificity in the virus-host interaction. Infection promotion was primarily mediated via the ability of miR-181 to significantly enhance henipavirus-induced membrane fusion. Cell signalling receptors of ephrins, namely EphA5 and EphA7, were identified as novel negative regulators of henipavirus fusion. The expression of these receptors, as well as EphB4, were suppressed by miR-181 overexpression, suggesting that simultaneous inhibition of several Ephs by the miRNA contributes to enhanced infection and fusion. Immune-responsive miR-181 levels was also up-regulated in the biofluids of ferrets and horses infected with Hendra virus, suggesting that the host innate immune response may promote henipavirus spread and exacerbate disease severity. This study is the first genome-wide screen of miRNAs influencing infection by a clinically significant mononegavirus and nominates select miRNAs as targets for future anti-viral therapy development.

Mouneimne G.,Harvard University | Hansen S.D.,University of California at San Francisco | Selfors L.M.,Harvard University | Petrak L.,Harvard University | And 9 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2012

Dynamic actin cytoskeletal reorganization is integral to cell motility. Profilins are well-characterized regulators of actin polymerization; however, functional differences among coexpressed profilin isoforms are not well defined. Here, we demonstrate that profilin-1 and profilin-2 differentially regulate membrane protrusion, motility, and invasion; these processes are promoted by profilin-1 and suppressed by profilin-2. Compared to profilin-1, profilin-2 preferentially drives actin polymerization by the Ena/VASP protein, EVL. Profilin-2 and EVL suppress protrusive activity and cell motility by an actomyosin contractility-dependent mechanism. Importantly, EVL or profilin-2 downregulation enhances invasion in vitro and in vivo. In human breast cancer, lower EVL expression correlates with high invasiveness and poor patient outcome. We propose that profilin-2/EVL-mediated actin polymerization enhances actin bundling and suppresses breast cancer cell invasion. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

PubMed | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Victorian Center for Functional Genomics, U.S. National Institutes of Health and Harvard University
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2016

RNAi screens are widely used in functional genomics. Although the screen data can be susceptible to a number of experimental biases, many of these can be corrected by computational analysis. For this purpose, here we have developed a web-based platform for integrated analysis and visualization of RNAi screen data named CARD (for Comprehensive Analysis of RNAi Data; available at CARD allows the user to seamlessly carry out sequential steps in a rigorous data analysis workflow, including normalization, off-target analysis, integration of gene expression data, optimal thresholds for hit selection and network/pathway analysis. To evaluate the utility of CARD, we describe analysis of three genome-scale siRNA screens and demonstrate: (i) a significant increase both in selection of subsequently validated hits and in rejection of false positives, (ii) an increased overlap of hits from independent screens of the same biology and (iii) insight to microRNA (miRNA) activity based on siRNA seed enrichment.

Simpson K.J.,Victorian Center for Functional Genomics | Simpson K.J.,University of Melbourne | Davis G.M.,Monash University | Boag P.R.,Monash University
New Biotechnology | Year: 2012

The discovery of RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans has generated a paradigm shift in how research is performed. Targeted gene knockdown using high throughput screening approaches is becoming a routine feature of the scientific landscape, and researchers can now evaluate the function of each gene in the genome in a relatively short period of time. This review compares and contrasts high throughput screening methodologies in C. elegans and mammalian cells and highlights the breadth of applications of this technology. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Said N.A.B.M.,University of Malaya | Said N.A.B.M.,Monash Institute of Medical Research | Simpson K.J.,Victorian Center for Functional Genomics | Simpson K.J.,University of Melbourne | And 3 more authors.
Cells Tissues Organs | Year: 2013

Enormous progress has been made towards understanding the role of specific factors in the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, the complex underlying pathways and the transient nature of the transition continues to present significant challenges. Targeting tumour cell plasticity underpinning EMT is an attractive strategy to combat metastasis. Global gene expression profiling and high-content analyses are among the strategies employed to identify novel EMT regulators. In this review, we highlight several approaches to systematically interrogate key pathways involved in EMT, with particular emphasis on the features of multiparametric, high-content imaging screening strategies that lend themselves to the systematic discovery of highly significant modulators of tumour cell plasticity. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Dinkel H.,SCB Unit | Chica C.,SCB Unit | Chica C.,French Atomic Energy Commission | Via A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 5 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

The Phospho.ELM resource ( is a relational database designed to store in vivo and in vitro phosphorylation data extracted from the scientific literature and phosphoproteomicanalyses. The resource has been actively developed for more than 7 years and currently comprises 42 574 serine, threonine and tyrosine non-redundant phosphorylation sites. Several new features have been implemented, such as structural disorder/ order and accessibility information and a conservation score. Additionally, the conservation of the phosphosites can now be visualized directly on the multiple sequence alignment used for the score calculation. Finally, special emphasis has been put on linking to external resources such as interaction networks and other databases. © The Author(s) 2010.

Davis S.J.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Davis S.J.,University of Melbourne | Sheppard K.E.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Sheppard K.E.,University of Melbourne | And 8 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all the gynecologic malignancies and is responsible for approximately 140,000 deaths annually worldwide. Copy number amplification is frequently associated with the activation of oncogenic drivers in this tumor type, but their cytogenetic complexity and heterogeneity has made it difficult to determine which gene(s) within an amplicon represent(s) the genuine oncogenic driver. We sought to identify amplicon targets by conducting a comprehensive functional analysis of genes located in the regions of amplification in high-grade serous and endometrioid ovarian tumors. Experimental Design: High-throughput siRNA screening technology was used to systematically assess all genes within regions commonly amplified in high-grade serous and endometrioid cancer. We describe the results from a boutique siRNA screen of 272 genes in a panel of 18 ovarian cell lines. Hits identified by the functional viability screen were further interrogated in primary tumor cohorts to determine the clinical outcomes associated with amplification and gene overexpression. Results: We identified a number of genes as critical for cellular viability when amplified, including URI1, PAK4, GAB2, and DYRK1B. Integration of primary tumor gene expression and outcome data provided further evidence for the therapeutic use of such genes, particularly URI1 and GAB2, which were significantly associated with survival in 2 independent tumor cohorts. Conclusion: By taking this integrative approach to target discovery, we have streamlined the translation of high-resolution genomic data into preclinical in vitro studies, resulting in the identification of a number of genes that may be specifically targeted for the treatment of advanced ovarian tumors. © 2013 AACR.

PubMed | Victorian Center for Functional Genomics and The Peter MacCallum Cancer Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell death and differentiation | Year: 2016

Vorinostat is an FDA-approved histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) that has proven clinical success in some patients; however, it remains unclear why certain patients remain unresponsive to this agent and other HDACis. Constitutive STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) activation, overexpression of prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins and loss of HR23B have been identified as potential biomarkers of HDACi resistance; however, none have yet been used to aid the clinical utility of HDACi. Herein, we aimed to further elucidate vorinostat-resistance mechanisms through a functional genomics screen to identify novel genes that when knocked down by RNA interference (RNAi) sensitized cells to vorinostat-induced apoptosis. A synthetic lethal functional screen using a whole-genome protein-coding RNAi library was used to identify genes that when knocked down cooperated with vorinostat to induce tumor cell apoptosis in otherwise resistant cells. Through iterative screening, we identified 10 vorinostat-resistance candidate genes that sensitized specifically to vorinostat. One of these vorinostat-resistance genes was GLI1, an oncogene not previously known to regulate the activity of HDACi. Treatment of vorinostat-resistant cells with the GLI1 small-molecule inhibitor, GANT61, phenocopied the effect of GLI1 knockdown. The mechanism by which GLI1 loss of function sensitized tumor cells to vorinostat-induced apoptosis is at least in part through interactions with vorinostat to alter gene expression in a manner that favored apoptosis. Upon GLI1 knockdown and vorinostat treatment, BCL2L1 expression was repressed and overexpression of BCL2L1 inhibited GLI1-knockdown-mediated vorinostat sensitization. Taken together, we present the identification and characterization of GLI1 as a new HDACi resistance gene, providing a strong rationale for development of GLI1 inhibitors for clinical use in combination with HDACi therapy.

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