AsianScientist (Aug. 25, 2015) – By D. Lokesh Narayan – By hosting a database that integrates cancer genes and markers with experimental data, researchers at Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, have developed a platform to identify genes that are highly expressed in tumors to provide insight into genetic alterations in cancer. The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The research team from SVU’s department of animal biotechnology, described the need for a database for different genes and markers along with their molecular characteristics and pathway associations.
The Cancer Gene Markers Database (CGMD) provides a platform to better understand tumor genes and markers at a molecular level by integrating them with literature on treatment regimen and recent advances in cancer therapy.
Free to access, the CGMD already includes 309 genes and 206 markers that correspond to 40 different human cancers. Accompanying literature is sourced from well-established databases such as the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes and has experimental data from PubMed.
Research has shown that expression of tumor suppressor genes changes with respect to cancer stage and type. Therefore, in addition to tumor genes, data on tumor markers contribute to a clearer picture of cancer stages and types and hence provide valuable clues for identifying genes that are highly expressed in tumors but not in normal tissues.
“To understand biological processes, we must integrate new observations with existing knowledge to create testable models that can be iteratively refined,” said Dr. Jangampalli Adi Pradeepkiran, bioinformatics research scholar at SVU’s animal biotechnology department and the first author of the study.
According to Pradeepkiran, the success of the CGMD will depend on the amount of data gathered by large-scale profiling of biological features that can be efficiently integrated with data from literature and databases for better visualization and analysis.
“Cancer is recognized as a complex system with many genetic and molecular components that are tightly connected through mechanisms that cancer biologists are desperately trying to decipher in order to identify more effective approaches to correct errors and cure the disease,” explained Pradeepkiran.
The article can be found at: Pradeepkiran et al. (2015) CGMD: An Integrated Database of Cancer Genes and Markers.
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