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Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jan;36(Database issue):D836-41. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

MethyCancer: the database of human DNA methylation and cancer.

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Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101300, China.


Cancer is ranked as one of the top killers in all human diseases and continues to have a devastating effect on the population around the globe. Current research efforts are aiming to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and develop effective means for cancer diagnostics, treatment and prognosis. An altered pattern of epigenetic modifications, most importantly DNA methylation events, plays a critical role in tumorigenesis through regulating oncogene activation, tumor suppressor gene silencing and chromosomal instability. To study interplay of DNA methylation, gene expression and cancer, we developed a publicly accessible database for human DNA Methylation and Cancer (MethyCancer, MethyCancer hosts both highly integrated data of DNA methylation, cancer-related gene, mutation and cancer information from public resources, and the CpG Island (CGI) clones derived from our large-scale sequencing. Interconnections between different data types were analyzed and presented. Furthermore, a powerful search tool is developed to provide user-friendly access to all the data and data connections. A graphical MethyView shows DNA methylation in context of genomics and genetics data facilitating the research in cancer to understand genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that make dramatic changes in gene expression of tumor cells.

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