// publications /  signatures of selection in DNA sequences
Selection on nonsense variants:
- The impact of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay on genetic disease, gene editing and cancer immunotherapy. RGH Lindeboom, M Vermeulen, B Lehner*, F Supek* (2019) Nature Genetics
Human genetic diseases differ in whether NMD typically aggravates or alleviates the phenotypic effects of nonsense variants // Failure to trigger NMD is a cause of ineffective gene inactivation by CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing // NMD strongly determines the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, with only transcripts that escape NMD predicting a response
- The rules and impact of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay in human cancers. RGH Lindeboom, F Supek*, B Lehner* (2016) Nature Genetics. (*corr. auth.)
Matched exome and transcriptome data can systematically elucidate the rules of NMD targeting in human tumors, explaining ¾ of the variance in NMD efficiency. Applying our NMD model identifies signatures of positive and negative selection on nonsense mutations in human tumors, and provides a classification for tumor-suppressor genes.
Selection on synonymous mutations:
- Synonymous mutations frequently act as driver mutations in human cancers. F Supek, B Miñana, J Valcárcel, T Gabaldón, B Lehner (2014) Cell.
Enrichments of somatic mutations indicate that ~1 in 5 synonymous mutations in oncogenes are cancer drivers. Involvement in known exonic splicing motifs and association to RNA-Seq data implicates many causal synonymous mutations to altered splicing. The 3’ UTRs of dosage-sensitive oncogenes also harbour causal mutations.
- (review article) The Code of Silence: Widespread Associations Between Synonymous Codon Biases and Gene Function. F Supek. (2016) J Mol Evol.
Comparative analyses of genomes, from bacteria across fungi to humans and human tumors have revealed many links between genes' biological roles and the accrual of synonymous mutations. The evolutionary trace of codon bias patterns across homologous genes may be examined to learn about a gene’s relevance to various phenotypes, or, more generally, its function in the cell.
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