CellMiner: a web-based suite of genomic and pharmacologic tools to explore transcript and drug patterns in the NCI-60 cell line set

Cancer Res. 2012 Jul 15;72(14):3499-511. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-1370.


High-throughput and high-content databases are increasingly important resources in molecular medicine, systems biology, and pharmacology. However, the information usually resides in unwieldy databases, limiting ready data analysis and integration. One resource that offers substantial potential for improvement in this regard is the NCI-60 cell line database compiled by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which has been extensively characterized across numerous genomic and pharmacologic response platforms. In this report, we introduce a CellMiner (http://discover.nci.nih.gov/cellminer/) web application designed to improve the use of this extensive database. CellMiner tools allowed rapid data retrieval of transcripts for 22,379 genes and 360 microRNAs along with activity reports for 20,503 chemical compounds including 102 drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Converting these differential levels into quantitative patterns across the NCI-60 clarified data organization and cross-comparisons using a novel pattern match tool. Data queries for potential relationships among parameters can be conducted in an iterative manner specific to user interests and expertise. Examples of the in silico discovery process afforded by CellMiner were provided for multidrug resistance analyses and doxorubicin activity; identification of colon-specific genes, microRNAs, and drugs; microRNAs related to the miR-17-92 cluster; and drug identification patterns matched to erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib, and lapatinib. CellMiner greatly broadens applications of the extensive NCI-60 database for discovery by creating web-based processes that are rapid, flexible, and readily applied by users without bioinformatics expertise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Drug Evaluation*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Internet*
  • MicroRNAs
  • Microarray Analysis
  • National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
  • RNA
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA