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Biol Cell. 2015 May;107(5):111-29. doi: 10.1111/boc.201400096. Epub 2015 Apr 7.

Detecting and targetting oncogenic fusion proteins in the genomic era.

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Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, U.S.A; Department of Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, U.S.A.


The advent of widespread cancer genome sequencing has accelerated our understanding of the molecular aberrations underlying malignant disease at an unprecedented rate. Coupling the large number of bioinformatic methods developed to locate genomic breakpoints with increased sequence read length and a deeper understanding of coding region function has enabled rapid identification of novel actionable oncogenic fusion genes. Using examples of kinase fusions found in liquid and solid tumours, this review highlights major concepts that have arisen in our understanding of cancer pathogenesis through the study of fusion proteins. We provide an overview of recently developed methods to identify potential fusion proteins from next-generation sequencing data, describe the validation of their oncogenic potential and discuss the role of targetted therapies in treating cancers driven by fusion oncoproteins.


Cancer; Oncology/cancer; Other receptors; Protein kinases/phosphatases; Targeted therapy

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