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  • Posted: 07/15/2013

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NCI News Note

Comprehensive list of gene variants developed for cancer cells from nine tissue types

NCI scientists have developed a comprehensive list of genetic variants for each of the types of cells that comprise what is known as the NCI-60 cell line collection. This new list adds depth to the most frequently studied human tumor cell lines in cancer research, molecular pharmacology, and drug discovery. The NCI-60 cancer cell panel represents nine different types of cancer: breast, ovary, prostate, colon, lung, kidney, brain, leukemia, and melanoma. In this study, the investigators sequenced the whole exomes, or DNA coding regions, of each of NCI-60 cell lines, to define novel cancer variants and aberrant patterns of gene expression in tumor cells and to relate such patterns and variants to those that occur during the development of cancer. They also found correlations between specific variants in genes such as TP53, BRAF, ERBBs, and ATAD5 and the activity of anticancer agents such as nutlin, vemurafenib, erlotinib, and bleomycin.

As new cancer genes are identified through large-scale sequencing studies, results of this NCI-60 sequencing data will be a valuable resource because they pinpoint more than six billion connections between cell lines with mutations in specific genes and drugs that target those gene defects. This new data is now included in the NCI-60 and freely available in different formats and through multiple sources, including CellMiner and Ingenuity websites. The results of this study, led by Paul S. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, Yves Pommier, M.D., Ph.D., chief of Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Center for Cancer Research, and James H. Doroshow, M.D., director of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, appeared online in Cancer Research, July 15, 2013.