Nucleic Acids Research
COSMIC, the Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer (http://cancer.sanger.ac.uk) is the world's largest and most comprehensive resource for exploring the impact of somatic mutations in human cancer. Our latest release (v70; Aug 2014) describes 2 002 811 coding point mutations in over one million tumor samples and across most human genes. To emphasize depth of knowledge on known cancer genes, mutation information is curated manually from the scientific literature, allowing very precise definitions of disease types and patient details. Combination of almost 20 000 published studies gives substantial resolution of how mutations and phenotypes relate in human cancer, providing insights into the stratification of mutations and biomarkers across cancer patient populations. Conversely, our curation of cancer genomes (over 12 000) emphasizes knowledge breadth, driving discovery of unrecognized cancer-driving hotspots and molecular targets. Our high-resolution curation approach is globally unique, giving substantial insight into molecular biomarkers in human oncology. In addition, COSMIC also details more than six million noncoding mutations, 10 534 gene fusions, 61 299 genome rearrangements, 695 504 abnormal copy number segments and 60 119 787 abnormal expression variants. All these types of somatic mutation are annotated to both the human genome and each affected coding gene, then correlated across disease and mutation types.
The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu/) is a web-based application that integrates relevant data, analysis and visualization, allowing users to easily discover and share their research observations. Users can explore the relationship between genomic alterations and phenotypes by visualizing various -omic data alongside clinical and phenotypic features, such as age, subtype classifications and genomic biomarkers. The Cancer Genomics Browser currently hosts 575 public datasets from genome-wide analyses of over 227 000 samples, including datasets from TCGA, CCLE, Connectivity Map and TARGET. Users can download and upload clinical data, generate Kaplan–Meier plots dynamically, export data directly to Galaxy for analysis, plus generate URL bookmarks of specific views of the data to share with others.
The Mouse Tumor Biology (MTB; http://tumor.informatics.jax.org) database is a unique online compendium of mouse models for human cancer. MTB provides online access to expertly curated information on diverse mouse models for human cancer and interfaces for searching and visualizing data associated with these models. The information in MTB is designed to facilitate the selection of strains for cancer research and is a platform for mining data on tumor development and patterns of metastases. MTB curators acquire data through manual curation of peer-reviewed scientific literature and from direct submissions by researchers. Data in MTB are also obtained from other bioinformatics resources including PathBase, the Gene Expression Omnibus and ArrayExpress. Recent enhancements to MTB improve the association between mouse models and human genes commonly mutated in a variety of cancers as identified in large-scale cancer genomics studies, provide new interfaces for exploring regions of the mouse genome associated with cancer phenotypes and incorporate data and information related to Patient-Derived Xenograft models of human cancers.
Somatic copy number aberrations (CNA) represent a mutation type encountered in the majority of cancer genomes. Here, we present the 2014 edition of arrayMap (http://www.arraymap.org), a publicly accessible collection of pre-processed oncogenomic array data sets and CNA profiles, representing a vast range of human malignancies. Since the initial release, we have enhanced this resource both in content and especially with regard to data mining support. The 2014 release of arrayMap contains more than 64 000 genomic array data sets, representing about 250 tumor diagnoses. Data sets included in arrayMap have been assembled from public repositories as well as additional resources, and integrated by applying custom processing pipelines. Online tools have been upgraded for a more flexible array data visualization, including options for processing user provided, non-public data sets. Data integration has been improved by mapping to multiple editions of the human reference genome, with the majority of the data now being available for the UCSC hg18 as well as GRCh37 versions. The large amount of tumor CNA data in arrayMap can be freely downloaded by users to promote data mining projects, and to explore special events such as chromothripsis-like genome patterns.
BCCTBbp (http://bioinformatics.breastcancertissue bank.org) was initially developed as the data-mining portal of the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank (BCCTB), a vital resource of breast cancer tissue for researchers to support and promote cutting-edge research. BCCTBbp is dedicated to maximising research on patient tissues by initially storing genomics, methylomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and microRNA data that has been mined from the literature and linking to pathways and mechanisms involved in breast cancer. Currently, the portal holds 146 datasets comprising over 227 795 expression/genomic measurements from various breast tissues (e.g. normal, malignant or benign lesions), cell lines and body fluids. BCCTBbp can be used to build on breast cancer knowledge and maximise the value of existing research. By recording a large number of annotations on samples and studies, and linking to other databases, such as NCBI, Ensembl and Reactome, a wide variety of different investigations can be carried out. Additionally, BCCTBbp has a dedicated analytical layer allowing researchers to further analyse stored datasets. A future important role for BCCTBbp is to make available all data generated on BCCTB tissues thus building a valuable resource of information on the tissues in BCCTB that will save repetition of experiments and expand scientific knowledge.
CancerPPD (http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/cancerppd/) is a repository of experimentally verified anticancer peptides (ACPs) and anticancer proteins. Data were manually collected from published research articles, patents and from other databases. The current release of CancerPPD consists of 3491 ACP and 121 anticancer protein entries. Each entry provides comprehensive information related to a peptide like its source of origin, nature of the peptide, anticancer activity, N- and C-terminal modifications, conformation, etc. Additionally, CancerPPD provides the information of around 249 types of cancer cell lines and 16 different assays used for testing the ACPs. In addition to natural peptides, CancerPPD contains peptides having non-natural, chemically modified residues and D-amino acids. Besides this primary information, CancerPPD stores predicted tertiary structures as well as peptide sequences in SMILES format. Tertiary structures of peptides were predicted using the state-of-art method, PEPstr and secondary structural states were assigned using DSSP. In order to assist users, a number of web-based tools have been integrated, these include keyword search, data browsing, sequence and structural similarity search. We believe that CancerPPD will be very useful in designing peptide-based anticancer therapeutics.
The Candidate Cancer Gene Database: a database of cancer driver genes from forward genetic screens in mice
Identification of cancer driver gene mutations is crucial for advancing cancer therapeutics. Due to the overwhelming number of passenger mutations in the human tumor genome, it is difficult to pinpoint causative driver genes. Using transposon mutagenesis in mice many laboratories have conducted forward genetic screens and identified thousands of candidate driver genes that are highly relevant to human cancer. Unfortunately, this information is difficult to access and utilize because it is scattered across multiple publications using different mouse genome builds and strength metrics. To improve access to these findings and facilitate meta-analyses, we developed the Candidate Cancer Gene Database (CCGD, http://ccgd-starrlab.oit.umn.edu/). The CCGD is a manually curated database containing a unified description of all identified candidate driver genes and the genomic location of transposon common insertion sites (CISs) from all currently published transposon-based screens. To demonstrate relevance to human cancer, we performed a modified gene set enrichment analysis using KEGG pathways and show that human cancer pathways are highly enriched in the database. We also used hierarchical clustering to identify pathways enriched in blood cancers compared to solid cancers. The CCGD is a novel resource available to scientists interested in the identification of genetic drivers of cancer.
CMPD: cancer mutant proteome database
Whole-exome sequencing, which centres on the protein coding regions of disease/cancer associated genes, represents the most cost-effective method to-date for deciphering the association between genetic alterations and diseases. Large-scale whole exome/genome sequencing projects have been launched by various institutions, such as NCI, Broad Institute and TCGA, to provide a comprehensive catalogue of coding variants in diverse tissue samples and cell lines. Further functional and clinical interrogation of these sequence variations must rely on extensive cross-platforms integration of sequencing information and a proteome database that explicitly and comprehensively archives the corresponding mutated peptide sequences. While such data resource is a critical for the mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of exomic variants, no database is currently available for the collection of mutant protein sequences that correspond to recent large-scale genomic data. To address this issue and serve as bridge to integrate genomic and proteomics datasets, CMPD (http://cgbc.cgu.edu.tw/cmpd) collected over 2 millions genetic alterations, which not only facilitates the confirmation and examination of potential cancer biomarkers but also provides an invaluable resource for translational medicine research and opportunities to identify mutated proteins encoded by mutated genes.
We present MethHC (http://MethHC.mbc.nctu.edu.tw), a database comprising a systematic integration of a large collection of DNA methylation data and mRNA/microRNA expression profiles in human cancer. DNA methylation is an important epigenetic regulator of gene transcription, and genes with high levels of DNA methylation in their promoter regions are transcriptionally silent. Increasing numbers of DNA methylation and mRNA/microRNA expression profiles are being published in different public repositories. These data can help researchers to identify epigenetic patterns that are important for carcinogenesis. MethHC integrates data such as DNA methylation, mRNA expression, DNA methylation of microRNA gene and microRNA expression to identify correlations between DNA methylation and mRNA/microRNA expression from TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas), which includes 18 human cancers in more than 6000 samples, 6548 microarrays and 12 567 RNA sequencing data.
We previously presented YM500, which is an integrated database for miRNA quantification, isomiR identification, arm switching discovery and novel miRNA prediction from 468 human smRNA-seq datasets. Here in this updated YM500v2 database (http://ngs.ym.edu.tw/ym500/), we focus on the cancer miRNome to make the database more disease-orientated. New miRNA-related algorithms developed after YM500 were included in YM500v2, and, more significantly, more than 8000 cancer-related smRNA-seq datasets (including those of primary tumors, paired normal tissues, PBMC, recurrent tumors, and metastatic tumors) were incorporated into YM500v2. Novel miRNAs (miRNAs not included in the miRBase R21) were not only predicted by three independent algorithms but also cleaned by a new in silico filtration strategy and validated by wetlab data such as Cross-Linked ImmunoPrecipitation sequencing (CLIP-seq) to reduce the false-positive rate. A new function ‘Meta-analysis’ is additionally provided for allowing users to identify real-time differentially expressed miRNAs and arm-switching events according to customer-defined sample groups and dozens of clinical criteria tidying up by proficient clinicians. Cancer miRNAs identified hold the potential for both basic research and biotech applications.
The 2015 Nucleic Acids Research Database Issue contains 172 papers that include descriptions of 56 new molecular biology databases, and updates on 115 databases whose descriptions have been previously published in NAR or other journals. Following the classification that has been introduced last year in order to simplify navigation of the entire issue, these articles are divided into eight subject categories. This year's highlights include RNAcentral, an international community portal to various databases on noncoding RNA; ValidatorDB, a validation database for protein structures and their ligands; SASBDB, a primary repository for small-angle scattering data of various macromolecular complexes; MoonProt, a database of ‘moonlighting’ proteins, and two new databases of protein–protein and other macromolecular complexes, ComPPI and the Complex Portal. This issue also includes an unusually high number of cancer-related databases and other databases dedicated to genomic basics of disease and potential drugs and drug targets. The size of NAR online Molecular Biology Database Collection, http://www.oxfordjournals.org/nar/database/a/, remained approximately the same, following the addition of 74 new resources and removal of 77 obsolete web sites. The entire Database Issue is freely available online on the Nucleic Acids Research web site (http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/).
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides a large suite of online resources for biological information and data, including the GenBank® nucleic acid sequence database and the PubMed database of citations and abstracts for published life science journals. Additional NCBI resources focus on literature (Bookshelf, PubMed Central (PMC) and PubReader); medical genetics (ClinVar, dbMHC, the Genetic Testing Registry, HIV-1/Human Protein Interaction Database and MedGen); genes and genomics (BioProject, BioSample, dbSNP, dbVar, Epigenomics, Gene, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Genome, HomoloGene, the Map Viewer, Nucleotide, PopSet, Probe, RefSeq, Sequence Read Archive, the Taxonomy Browser, Trace Archive and UniGene); and proteins and chemicals (Biosystems, COBALT, the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool (CDART), the Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB), Protein Clusters, Protein and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases). The Entrez system provides search and retrieval operations for many of these databases. Augmenting many of the Web applications are custom implementations of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized data sets. All of these resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
The DNA Data Bank of Japan Center (DDBJ Center; http://www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp) maintains and provides public archival, retrieval and analytical services for biological information. Since October 2013, DDBJ Center has operated the Japanese Genotype-phenotype Archive (JGA) in collaboration with our partner institute, the National Bioscience Database Center (NBDC) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency. DDBJ Center provides the JGA database system which securely stores genotype and phenotype data collected from individuals whose consent agreements authorize data release only for specific research use. NBDC has established guidelines and policies for sharing human-derived data and reviews data submission and usage requests from researchers. In addition to the JGA project, DDBJ Center develops Semantic Web technologies for data integration and sharing in collaboration with the Database Center for Life Science. This paper describes the overview of the JGA project, updates to the DDBJ databases, and services for data retrieval, analysis and integration.
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) is Europe's primary resource for nucleotide sequence information. With the growing volume and diversity of public sequencing data comes the need for increased sophistication in data organisation, presentation and search services so as to maximise its discoverability and usability. In response to this, ENA has been introducing and improving checklists for use during submission and expanding its search facilities to provide targeted search results. Here, we give a brief update on ENA content and some major developments undertaken in data submission services during 2014. We then describe in more detail the services we offer for data discovery and retrieval.
GenBank® (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/) is a comprehensive database that contains publicly available nucleotide sequences for over 300 000 formally described species. These sequences are obtained primarily through submissions from individual laboratories and batch submissions from large-scale sequencing projects, including whole-genome shotgun and environmental sampling projects. Most submissions are made using the web-based BankIt or standalone Sequin programs, and GenBank staff assign accession numbers upon data receipt. Daily data exchange with the European Nucleotide Archive and the DNA Data Bank of Japan ensures worldwide coverage. GenBank is accessible through the NCBI Entrez retrieval system, which integrates data from the major DNA and protein sequence databases along with taxonomy, genome, mapping, protein structure and domain information, and the biomedical journal literature via PubMed. BLAST provides sequence similarity searches of GenBank and other sequence databases. Complete bimonthly releases and daily updates of the GenBank database are available by FTP.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Gene database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene) integrates gene-specific information from multiple data sources. NCBI Reference Sequence (RefSeq) genomes for viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes are the primary foundation for Gene records in that they form the critical association between sequence and a tracked gene upon which additional functional and descriptive content is anchored. Additional content is integrated based on the genomic location and RefSeq transcript and protein sequence data. The content of a Gene record represents the integration of curation and automated processing from RefSeq, collaborating model organism databases, consortia such as Gene Ontology, and other databases within NCBI. Records in Gene are assigned unique, tracked integers as identifiers. The content (citations, nomenclature, genomic location, gene products and their attributes, phenotypes, sequences, interactions, variation details, maps, expression, homologs, protein domains and external databases) is available via interactive browsing through NCBI's Entrez system, via NCBI's Entrez programming utilities (E-Utilities and Entrez Direct) and for bulk transfer by FTP.
Retrotransposons account for almost half of our genome. They are mobile genetics elements—also known as jumping genes—but only the L1HS subfamily of Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs) has retained the ability to jump autonomously in modern humans. Their mobilization in germline—but also some somatic tissues—contributes to human genetic diversity and to diseases, such as cancer. Here, we present euL1db, the European database of L1HS retrotransposon insertions in humans (available at http://euL1db.unice.fr). euL1db provides a curated and comprehensive summary of L1HS insertion polymorphisms identified in healthy or pathological human samples and published in peer-reviewed journals. A key feature of euL1db is its sample-wise organization. Hence L1HS insertion polymorphisms are connected to samples, individuals, families and clinical conditions. The current version of euL1db centralizes results obtained in 32 studies. It contains >900 samples, >140 000 sample-wise insertions and almost 9000 distinct merged insertions. euL1db will help understanding the link between L1 retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms and phenotype or disease.
Genomic islands are mobile DNAs that are major agents of bacterial and archaeal evolution. Integration into prokaryotic chromosomes usually occurs site-specifically at tRNA or tmRNA gene (together, tDNA) targets, catalyzed by tyrosine integrases. This splits the target gene, yet sequences within the island restore the disrupted gene; the regenerated target and its displaced fragment precisely mark the endpoints of the island. We applied this principle to search for islands in genomic DNA sequences. Our algorithm identifies tDNAs, finds fragments of those tDNAs in the same replicon and removes unlikely candidate islands through a series of filters. A search for islands in 2168 whole prokaryotic genomes produced 3919 candidates. The website Islander (recently moved to http://bioinformatics.sandia.gov/islander/) presents these precisely mapped candidate islands, the gene content and the island sequence. The algorithm further insists that each island encode an integrase, and attachment site sequence identity is carefully noted; therefore, the database also serves in the study of integrase site-specificity and its evolution.
MethBank: a database integrating next-generation sequencing single-base-resolution DNA methylation programming data
DNA methylation plays crucial roles during embryonic development. Here we present MethBank (http://dnamethylome.org), a DNA methylome programming database that integrates the genome-wide single-base nucleotide methylomes of gametes and early embryos in different model organisms. Unlike extant relevant databases, MethBank incorporates the whole-genome single-base-resolution methylomes of gametes and early embryos at multiple different developmental stages in zebrafish and mouse. MethBank allows users to retrieve methylation levels, differentially methylated regions, CpG islands, gene expression profiles and genetic polymorphisms for a specific gene or genomic region. Moreover, it offers a methylome browser that is capable of visualizing high-resolution DNA methylation profiles as well as other related data in an interactive manner and thus is of great helpfulness for users to investigate methylation patterns and changes of gametes and early embryos at different developmental stages. Ongoing efforts are focused on incorporation of methylomes and related data from other organisms. Together, MethBank features integration and visualization of high-resolution DNA methylation data as well as other related data, enabling identification of potential DNA methylation signatures in different developmental stages and accordingly providing an important resource for the epigenetic and developmental studies.