LifeMap Sciences announced today that its GeneHancer database was recently incorporated into the UCSC Genome Browser as a native track. GeneHancer, a part of the GeneCards® Suite Knowledgebase (www.genecards.org), is a comprehensive database of human regulatory elements (enhancers and promoters) and their inferred target genes. GeneHancer was created by integrating >1 million regulatory elements from multiple genome-wide databases. Associations between regulatory elements and target genes were generated by combining multiple bioinformatics methods. The GeneCards Suite and the GeneHancer database were developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
GeneHancer is used today by both industry and academia for the interpretation of whole genome sequencing data. LifeMap offers this capability in its NGS Analysis & Interpretation platform, TGex (https://tgex-app.genecards.org). TGex combines the GeneHancer database with VarElect, the variant prioritization tool based on the GeneCards Suite Knowledgebase, to identify, score, and provide evidence for relationships between variants in non-coding regions and patient phenotypes. This capability is used today by the largest pediatric research center in Europe as well as in the top Maternal and Children’s hospitals in greater China for diagnosis of children with rare disorders.
The UCSC Genome Browser project’s relevant announcement (http://genome.ucsc.edu/goldenPath/newsarch.html#110718) notes that GeneHancer is the first native track presenting a comprehensive view of enhancers, promoters and their gene targets, using the novel interact track format (available on the GRCh37/hg19 and GRCh38/hg38 assemblies). This allows users to easily explore GeneHancer’s elements and element-gene interactions within the world’s leading genome browser.
“I am delighted to see the success of our GeneHancer compendium in becoming a method of choice for exploring regulatory elements and their gene targets at the widely used UCSC Genome Browser,” said Prof. Doron Lancet, Principal Investigator of the GeneCards Suite project at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
“As labs start moving from analyzing exomes to genomes,” said Yaron Guan-Golan, CEO of LifeMap Sciences, “they will require high quality tools and databases that will allow them to interpret mutations in non-coding regions as they relate to patient phenotypes. Not surprisingly, this is evidenced by growing interest in GeneHancer data from both industry and academia. We are therefore happy to see GeneHancer’s implementation in UCSC’s Genome Browser, which will make this data more accessible to the larger research community.”
About LifeMap Sciences
LifeMap Sciences is a life sciences technology company that offers integrated, streamlined solutions that empower life scientists worldwide to conduct cutting-edge basic, clinical and applied biomedical research. LifeMap’s products are used in more than 3,000 institutions including academia, research hospitals, patent offices, and leading biopharma and diagnostic companies. Operations worldwide are carried out from our offices in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tel Aviv, and Hong Kong. LifeMap is a subsidiary of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.
For more information, please visit http://www.lifemapsc.com/.
About the Weizmann Institute of Science and GeneCards
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to scientists, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and scientific, technical and administrative staff. In addition, visiting scientists and their families – over 500 from 35 countries are regularly hosted at the Institute. Particular excellence in bioinformatics and systems biology is manifested, among others, in the GeneCards project, initiated in 1996, under the leadership of Prof. Doron Lancet of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, until recently Head of the Crown Human Genome Center. The team, led by Marilyn Safran, continuously innovates to maintain GeneCards as the leading integrated human gene compendium.