NCC, KAIST develops cancer mutation analysis system

Marian Chu  Published 2018.07.19  18:05  Updated 2018.07.20 14:59


Researchers from the National Cancer Center and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) have developed a web-based cancer mutation analysis system dubbed the Mutalisk, the NCC said Thursday.

The MUTation AnaLyIS toolKit (Mutalisk) is a system that reveals the characteristics of the mutations of a cancer patient’s somatic cells while also clarifying the cause and progression of cancer.

Hong Dong-wan (right), chief of National Cancer Center Clinical Genomic Analysis Branch, and KAIST Professor Ju Young-seok

Developed by a team led by NCC’s Hong Dong-wan, chief of Clinical Genomic Analysis Branch, and KAIST Professor Ju Young-seok, Mutalisk is the world's first web-based analysis tool that provides accurate and rapid correlation of omics information for cancer cell mutations.

Cancer-inducing somatic mutations are attributable to a variety of causes, including smoking cigarettes and ultraviolet light. Somatic mutations can also occur during the DNA replication process or due to damaged reactions. The accumulation of these mutations fuels cancer growth.

Mutations, however, have a “mutational signature” that varies according to the cause. Lung cancer patients, for example, have different cancer cell mutation characteristics depending on their smoking status. For skin cancer, mutation characteristics differ depending on whether it was caused by ultraviolet ray-induced DNA damage or by aging.

Identifying mutation characteristics of the somatic cells of cancer cells provides clues about pathogenesis. It can also be used to establish a customized treatment strategy. Despite the need to know the exact nature of mutations for cancer care, however, readily usable systems have been hard to find.

Mutalisks - a web-based analysis system - provides an integrated analysis of genomes, transcripts, and progeny genomes based on mutation characteristics of cancer cells’ somatic cells that are derived from next-generation sequencing analysis.

The system provides data on various genetic information that occurs as a gene mutation progresses into cancer -- such as the mutation site of a super mutation, guanine-cytosine ratio, transcription strand, the timing of mutation, and histone change -- and the relationship between them.

“This analysis system will make it easier to reveal the diversity of mutations that cause the development and progression of cancer cells in various carcinomas, thus contributing to the systematic construction of precision medical care,” said Hong Dong-wan who led the study.

The findings were published online in the May 22 edition of Nucleic Acids Research, international journal biotechnology.

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