Cambridge, United Kingdom

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cambridge, United Kingdom

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is a non-profit, British genomics and genetics research institute, primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust.It is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus by the village of Hinxton, outside Cambridge. It shares this location with the European Bioinformatics Institute. It was established in 1992 as The Sanger Centre, named after double Nobel Laureate, Frederick Sanger. It was conceived as a large scale DNA sequencing centre to participate in the Human Genome Project, and went on to make the largest single contribution to the gold standard sequence of the human genome. From its inception the Institute established and has maintained a policy of data sharing, and does much of its research in collaboration. Since 2000, the Institute expanded its mission to understand "the role of genetics in health and disease". The Institute now employs around 900 people and engages in four main areas of research: Human genetics, pathogen genetics, mouse and zebrafish genetics and bioinformatics. The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories Wikipedia.

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Bianchi E.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Doe B.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Goulding D.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Wright G.J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Nature | Year: 2014

Fertilization occurs when sperm and egg recognize each other and fuse to form a new, genetically distinct organism. The molecular basis of sperm-egg recognition is unknown, but is likely to require interactions between receptor proteins displayed on their surface. Izumo1 is an essential sperm cell-surface protein, but its receptor on the egg has not been described. Here we identify folate receptor 4 (Folr4) as the receptor for Izumo1 on the mouse egg, and propose to rename it Juno. We show that the Izumo1-Juno interaction is conserved within several mammalian species, including humans. Female mice lacking Juno are infertile and Juno-deficient eggs do not fuse with normal sperm. Rapid shedding of Juno from the oolemma after fertilization suggests a mechanism for the membrane block to polyspermy, ensuring eggs normally fuse with just a single sperm. Our discovery of an essential receptor pair at the nexus of conception provides opportunities for the rational development of new fertility treatments and contraceptives. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play key regulatory roles in the life cycle of the malaria parasite, but in many cases their precise molecular functions are unknown. Using the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei, we show that CDPK1, which is known to be essential in the asexual blood stage of the parasite, is expressed in all life stages and is indispensable during the sexual mosquito life-cycle stages. Knockdown of CDPK1 in sexual stages resulted in developmentally arrested parasites and prevented mosquito transmission, and these effects were independent of the previously proposed function for CDPK1 in regulating parasite motility. In-depth translational and transcriptional profiling of arrested parasites revealed that CDPK1 translationally activates mRNA species in the developing zygote that in macrogametes remain repressed via their 3' and 5'UTRs. These findings indicate that CDPK1 is a multifunctional protein that translationally regulates mRNAs to ensure timely and stage-specific protein expression. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Hurles M.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Nature Genetics | Year: 2012

Three papers characterizing human germline mutation rates bolster evidence for a relatively low rate of base substitution in modern humans and highlight a central role for paternal age in determining rates of mutation. These studies represent the advent of a transformation in our understanding of mutation rates and processes, which may ultimately have public health implications. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Scally A.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Nature reviews. Genetics | Year: 2012

It is now possible to make direct measurements of the mutation rate in modern humans using next-generation sequencing. These measurements reveal a value that is approximately half of that previously derived from fossil calibration, and this has implications for our understanding of demographic events in human evolution and other aspects of population genetics. Here, we discuss the implications of a lower-than-expected mutation rate in relation to the timescale of human evolution.

Watson S.J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

RNA viruses within infected individuals exist as a population of evolutionary-related variants. Owing to evolutionary change affecting the constitution of this population, the frequency and/or occurrence of individual viral variants can show marked or subtle fluctuations. Since the development of massively parallel sequencing platforms, such viral populations can now be investigated to unprecedented resolution. A critical problem with such analyses is the presence of sequencing-related errors that obscure the identification of true biological variants present at low frequency. Here, we report the development and assessment of the Quality Assessment of Short Read (QUASR) Pipeline ( specific for virus genome short read analysis that minimizes sequencing errors from multiple deep-sequencing platforms, and enables post-mapping analysis of the minority variants within the viral population. QUASR significantly reduces the error-related noise in deep-sequencing datasets, resulting in increased mapping accuracy and reduction of erroneous mutations. Using QUASR, we have determined influenza virus genome dynamics in sequential samples from an in vitro evolution of 2009 pandemic H1N1 (A/H1N1/09) influenza from samples sequenced on both the Roche 454 GSFLX and Illumina GAIIx platforms. Importantly, concordance between the 454 and Illumina sequencing allowed unambiguous minority-variant detection and accurate determination of virus population turnover in vitro.

Huang N.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
PLoS genetics | Year: 2010

Haploinsufficiency, wherein a single functional copy of a gene is insufficient to maintain normal function, is a major cause of dominant disease. Human disease studies have identified several hundred haploinsufficient (HI) genes. We have compiled a map of 1,079 haplosufficient (HS) genes by systematic identification of genes unambiguously and repeatedly compromised by copy number variation among 8,458 apparently healthy individuals and contrasted the genomic, evolutionary, functional, and network properties between these HS genes and known HI genes. We found that HI genes are typically longer and have more conserved coding sequences and promoters than HS genes. HI genes exhibit higher levels of expression during early development and greater tissue specificity. Moreover, within a probabilistic human functional interaction network HI genes have more interaction partners and greater network proximity to other known HI genes. We built a predictive model on the basis of these differences and annotated 12,443 genes with their predicted probability of being haploinsufficient. We validated these predictions of haploinsufficiency by demonstrating that genes with a high predicted probability of exhibiting haploinsufficiency are enriched among genes implicated in human dominant diseases and among genes causing abnormal phenotypes in heterozygous knockout mice. We have transformed these gene-based haploinsufficiency predictions into haploinsufficiency scores for genic deletions, which we demonstrate to better discriminate between pathogenic and benign deletions than consideration of the deletion size or numbers of genes deleted. These robust predictions of haploinsufficiency support clinical interpretation of novel loss-of-function variants and prioritization of variants and genes for follow-up studies.

Schiffels S.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Durbin R.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Nature Genetics | Year: 2014

The availability of complete human genome sequences from populations across the world has given rise to new population genetic inference methods that explicitly model ancestral relationships under recombination and mutation. So far, application of these methods to evolutionary history more recent than 20,000-30,000 years ago and to population separations has been limited. Here we present a new method that overcomes these shortcomings. The multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) analyzes the observed pattern of mutations in multiple individuals, focusing on the first coalescence between any two individuals. Results from applying MSMC to genome sequences from nine populations across the world suggest that the genetic separation of non-African ancestors from African Yoruban ancestors started long before 50,000 years ago and give information about human population history as recent as 2,000 years ago, including the bottleneck in the peopling of the Americas and separations within Africa, East Asia and Europe. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.

Campbell P.J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cell | Year: 2012

Telomere attrition unleashes genomic instability, promoting cancer development. Once established, however, the malignant clone often re-establishes genomic stability through overexpression of telomerase. In two papers, one in this issue of Cell and one in the subsequent issue, DePinho and colleagues explore the consequences of telomerase re-expression and its validity as a therapeutic target in mouse models of cancer. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Linnemann C.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Linnemann C.,Netherlands Cancer Institute
Nature medicine | Year: 2015

Tumor-specific neo-antigens that arise as a consequence of mutations are thought to be important for the therapeutic efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Accumulating evidence suggests that neo-antigens may be commonly recognized by intratumoral CD8+ T cells, but it is unclear whether neo-antigen-specific CD4+ T cells also frequently reside within human tumors. In view of the accepted role of tumor-specific CD4+ T-cell responses in tumor control, we addressed whether neo-antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell reactivity is a common property in human melanoma.

Zeggini E.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Nature Genetics | Year: 2011

A new study successfully applies complementary whole-genome sequencing and imputation approaches to establish robust disease associations in an isolated population. This strategy is poised to help elucidate the role of variants at the low end of the allele frequency spectrum in the genetic architecture of complex traits. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

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