MutationView/KMcancerDB: A database for cancer gene mutations

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Abstract

It is known that cancers are caused by accumulated mutations in various genes and consequent functional alterations of proteins that are important for maintenance of normal cellular functions. The changes in nucleotide sequences and expression patterns of cancer-related genes are being extensively studied to better understand the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and to develop methods for DNA protein diagnosis and drug discovery. At present, a number of computer databases for molecular information on cancer-related genes are available publicly through the internet. These databases deal with familial cancer and sporadic cancer at the levels of germline mutation or somatic mutation, genomic or chromosomal abnormalities, and changes in the expression levels of relevant genes. Previously, we constructed a human gene mutation database named MutationView (http://mutview.dmb.med.keio.ac.jp/) and have accumulated mutation data for ∼300 genes that are involved mainly in monogenic diseases. Forty-two genes are cancer-related and therefore a separate cancer database named KMcancerDB was constructed. MutationView/KMcancerDB utilizes a graphic display function for both queries and search results much more often than other existing databases, making the system quite user friendly. MutationView/KMcancerDB provides a highly sophisticated search function for all genes through a single internet URL. In the present paper, we briefly review various useful databases for cancer-related genes, and describe MutationView/KMcancerDB in more detail. (Cancer Sci 2007; 98: 259–267)

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