News Column

Reports Summarize Bioinformatics Findings from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Identification of cancer fusion drivers using network fusion centrality)

July 22, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- Research findings on Bioinformatics are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting originating in Houston, Texas, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "Gene fusions are being discovered at an increasing rate using massively parallel sequencing technologies. Prioritization of cancer fusion drivers for validation cannot be performed using traditional single-gene based methods because fusions involve portions of two partner genes."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, "To address this problem, we propose a novel network analysis method called fusion centrality that is specifically tailored for prioritizing gene fusions. We first propose a domain-based fusion model built on the theory of exon/domain shuffling. The model leads to a hypothesis that a fusion is more likely to be an oncogenic driver if its partner genes act like hubs in a network because the fusion mutation can deregulate normal functions of many other genes and their pathways. The hypothesis is supported by the observation that for most known cancer fusion genes, at least one of the fusion partners appears to be a hub in a network, and even for many fusions both partners appear to be hubs. Based on this model, we construct fusion centrality, a multi-gene-based network metric, and use it to score fusion drivers. We show that the fusion centrality outperforms other single gene-based methods. Specifically, the method successfully predicts most of 38 newly discovered fusions that had validated oncogenic importance. To our best knowledge, this is the first network-based approach for identifying fusion drivers."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Matlab code implementing the fusion centrality method is available upon request from the corresponding authors."

For more information on this research see: Identification of cancer fusion drivers using network fusion centrality. Bioinformatics, 2013;29(9):1174-81. Bioinformatics can be contacted at: Oxford Univ Press, Great Clarendon St, Oxford OX2 6DP, England. (Oxford University Press -; Bioinformatics -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.C. Wu, Dept. of Genomic Medicine, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, United States. Additional authors for this research include K. Kannan, S. Lin, L. Yen and A. Milosavljevic.

The publisher of the journal Bioinformatics can be contacted at: Oxford Univ Press, Great Clarendon St, Oxford OX2 6DP, England.

Keywords for this news article include: Texas, Cancer, Houston, Genetics, Oncology, United States, Bioinformatics, North and Central America.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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