Education B.Sc. Ph.D., London (England)
General Virus Bioinformatics - databases
and tools for analysis of viral genomes.
BLOG on Virology/Bioinformatics (not very active, see twitter)
Twitter id: twitter.com/cupton1
The primary focus of research in my lab is Viral Bioinformatics: The
application of computer technology to the management of biological information.
Computers are essential for gathering, storing and analyzing the vast amount
of biological and genetic information that is being generated by new high-through-put
technologies in the biosciences (DNA sequencing; DNA-chip; proteomics).
The knowledge we gain from Bioinformatics research can be applied to a variety
of research areas, including the process of gene-based drug discovery.
Specifically, my group is developing specialized software to help automate
the process of genomic analysis and predicting gene function in large virus
genomes (poxviruses, herpesviruses, baculoviruses). These large viruses
have 100-200 genes and the function of many of the proteins produced by
the viruses remains a mystery. We have used viral sequences to discover
novel similarities with human genes and, conversely, known human proteins
to predict the function of virus proteins. The software helps us analyze
the numerous virus genomes that have recently been completely sequenced
and also aids in the annotation of newly sequenced genomes. We have a strong
interest in the evolution and structure of viral genomes.
We were part of a collaboration that designed and built
the Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource (http://poxvirus.org)
and the Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (http://virology.ca)
. This project was funded by the National
Institutes of Health USA and supported research by many investigators
developing new vaccines and drugs targeted at virus infections.
In another collaborative study (with Dr Delano James at the Centre
for Plant Health, Sidney, BC), we are looking at the genomes and evolution
of economically important plant viruses including cherry mottle leaf virus,
peach mosaic virus and plum
Driving the Bioinformatics work, is a longstanding interest in basic poxvirus
virology. For many years we have been working on virus virulence mechanisms,
and this has led to the identification of the function of several poxvirus
I also have a research interest in influenza virus and recently published:
Evidence for a novel gene associated with human influenza A viruses.
Monica Clifford, James Twigg and Chris Upton. Virology
Journal 2009, 6:198
Selected Publications: (of 86 total- Nov '09)
- Clifford, M., Twigg, J. and Upton, C. (2009) Evidence for a novel gene
associated with human influenza A viruses. Virology
Journal 2009, 6:198.
- Alzhanova D, Edwards DM, Hammarlund E, Scholz IG, Horst D, Wagner MJ, Upton C, Wiertz EJ, Slifka MK, FrŸh K. (2009) Cowpox virus inhibits the transporter associated with antigen processing to evade T cell recognition. Cell Host Microbe. 2009 Nov 19;6(5):433-45.
- Marass, F. and Upton, C. (2009) KISSa: a strategy to build multiple sequence
alignments from pairwise comparisons of very closely related sequences.
BMC Research Notes 2009, 2:91.
- Da Silva, M. and Upton, C. (2009) Vaccinia virus G8R protein: a structural
ortholog of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PLoS ONE 2009;4(5):e5479.
- Marass, F. and Upton, C. (2009) Sequence Searcher: A Java tool to perform
regular expression and fuzzy searchers of multiple DNA and protein sequences.
(BMC Research notes Jan 30;2:14).
- Chapman, D., Tcherepanov, V., Upton, C. and Dixon, L. 2008. Comparison
of the genome sequences of non-pathogenic and pathogenic African swine
fever virus isolates. J. Gen. Virol. 89, 397-408.
- Summer, E.J., Gill, J.J., Upton, C., Gonzalez, C.F. and Young, R. 2007.
Role of phages in the pathogenesis of Burkholderia or ÔWhere are the toxin
genes in Burkholderia phages?Õ Curr Opin Microbiol. 10(4):410-7.
- Osbourne, J.D., Da Silva, M., Frace, M., Sammons, S.A., Olsen-Rasmussen,
M., Upton, C., Buller, R.M.L., Chen, N., Feng, Z., Roper, R.L., Lui, J.,
Pougatcheva, S., Chen, W., Wohlheuter, R.M. and Esposito, J.J. Smallpox
vaccine Vaccinia virus: genomic differences between a virulent and a vaccine-like
clone. Vaccine 25(52):8807-8832.
- Butler-Cole,C., Wagner, M.J., Da Silva, M., Brown, G.D., Burke, R.D. and
Upton, C. 2007 An ectromelia virus profilin homolog interacts with cellular
tropomyosin and viral A-type inclusion protein. Virology Journal 2007,
- Thomas, J.M., Horspool, D., Brown, G., Tcherepanov, V., and Upton, C. 2007.
GraphDNA: a Java program for graphical display of DNA composition analyses.
BMC Bioinformatics. 8:21.
- Tyler, S.D., Peters, G.A., Severini, A., Gray, M.J., Upton, C. and Tipples,
G.A. 2007. Genomic Cartography of Varicella-Voster Virus: A Complete Genome
Based Analysis of Strain Variability with Implications for Attenuation and
Phenotypic Differences. Virology 359:447-58
- Sajic R, Lee K, Asai K, Sakac D, Branch DR, Upton C, Cochrane A. 2007.
Use of modified U1 snRNAs to inhibit HIV-1 replication. Nucleic Acids Res. 35:247-55.
- Eaton, H.E., Metcalf, J., Penny, E., Tcherepanov, V., Upton, C. and Brunetti,
C.R. 2007. Comparative genomic analysis of the family Iridoviridae: re-annotating
and defining the core set of iridovirus genes. Virology Journal. 4:11
- Thomas, J.M., Horspool, D., Brown, G., Tcherepanov, V., and Upton, C.
2007. GraphDNA: a Java program for graphical display of DNA composition analyses.
BMC Bioinformatics. 8:21.
- Da Silva, M., Shen, L., Tcherepanov, V., Watson C. and Upton C. 2006. Predicted
function of the vaccinia virus G5R protein. Bioinformatics 22, 2846-50.
- Peters,G.A., Tyler,S.D., Grose,C., Severini,A., Gray,M.J., Upton,C. and
Tipples,G.A. 2006. A full-genome phylogenetic analysis of Varicella-Zoster
Virus reveals a novel origin of recombination between major circulating clades.
J. Virol. 80, 9850-9860.
- Tcherepanov, T., Ehlers, A. and Upton, C. 2006. Genome Annotation Transfer
Utility (GATU): Rapid annotation of viral genomes using a closely related
reference genome. BMC Genomics 7:150 (13 June 2006)
- Lefkowitz, E., Wang, C. and Upton, C. 2006. Poxviruses: past, present and
future. Virus Research, 117, 105-118.
- Li, G., Chen, N., Roper, R.L., Feng, Z., Hunter, A., Danila, M., Lefkowitz,
E.J., Buller, R.M. L. and Upton, C. 2005. Complete coding sequences of the
rabbitpox virus genome. J. Gen. Virol. 86, 2969-2977.
- Esteban, D. J., Da Silva, M. and Upton C. 2005. New Bioinformatics Tools
for Viral Genome Analyses at Viral Bioinformatics Ð Canada. Pharmacogenomics 6, 271-280
- Da Silva, M. and Upton C. 2005. Host-derived pathogenicity islands in poxviruses.
Virology Journal 2(1):30.
- Chen, N., Li, G., Liszewski, M.K., Atkinson, J.P., Jahrling, P.B., Feng,
Z., Schriewer, J., Buck, C., Wang, C., Lefkowitz, E.J., Esposito, J.J., Harms,
T., Damon, I.K., Roper, R.L., Upton, C. and Buller, R.M. 2005. Virulence
differences between monkeypox virus isolates from West Africa and the Congo
basin. Virology 340, 46-63.
- Da Silva, M. and Upton C. 2005. Using purine skews to predict genes in AT-rich
poxviruses. BMC Genomics. 6(1):22.
- Whitney, J., Esteban, D. J. and Upton C. 2005. Recent Hits Acquired by BLAST
(ReHAB): A tool to identify new hits in sequence similarity searches. BMC Bioinformatics.
- Upton, C. 2004. Poxvirus Bioinformatics. In: Methods in Molecular Biology
, 269, p347-370 Poxvirus Protocols. Humana Press.
- Lefkowitz, E. J.,
Upton, C., Changayil, S. S., Buck, C., Traktman, P., Buller, R. M. L. 2005.
Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource Center: a comprehensive Poxviridae informational
and analytical resource. Nucleic Acids Res 2005 33: p. D311-D316
- Brodie, R., A.J.Smith, R.L. Roper, V. Tcherepanov, and C. Upton. 2004.Base-By-Base:
Single nucleotide-level analysis of whole viral genome alignments, BMC Bioinformatics, 5, 96.
- Chen, D., M. Danila, R.M. L. Buller and C. Upton. Complete sequence and analysis
of the ectromelia virus genome. Virology, 317, 165-186.
- Brodie, R., R. L. Roper, and C. Upton. 2004. JDotter: A Java Interface
to Multiple DotPlots Generated by Dotter. (Bioinformatics, 20, 279-281)
- Roper, R.L., Slack, S., Hunter, A.W., Ehlers, A. and C. Upton. Poxvirus Orthologous
Clusters (POCs): Toward defining the minimum essential poxvirus genome. J.
Virology 77, 7590-6000.
- M. A. Marra, S. J. M. Jones, C. R. Astell, R. A.Holt , A. Brooks-Wilson, Y.
S. N. Butterfield , J. Khattra, J. K. Asano, S. A. Barber, S. Y. Chan, A. Cloutier,
S. M. Coughlin, D. Freeman, N. Girn, O. L.Griffith, S. R. Leach, M. Mayo, H.
McDonald, S. B.Montgomery, P. K. Pandoh, A. S. Petrescu, A. G. Robertson, J.
E. Schein, A. Siddiqui, D. E. Smailus, J. M. Stott, G. S. Yang, F. Plummer,
A. Andonov, H. Artsob,N. Bastien, K. Bernard, T. F. Booth, D. Bowness, M. Drebot,
L. Fernando, R. Flick, M. Garbutt, M.Gray, A. Grolla, S. Jones, H. Feldmann,
A. Meyers, A. Kabani, Y. Li, S. Normand, U. Stroher, G. A. Tipples, S. Tyler,
R. Vogrig, D. Ward, B. Watson, R. C.Brunham, M. Krajden, M. Petric, D. M. Skowronski, C.Upton,
R. L. Roper. 2003. The Genome Sequence of the SARS-Associated Coronavirus.
Science, Published online 1 May 2003.
- Ehlers, A., J. Osborne, Slack, S., R. L. Roper, and C. Upton. 2002. Poxvirus
Orthologous Clusters (POCs). Bioinformatics 18, 1544-1545
- James, D., and C. Upton. 2002. Nucleotide sequence analysis of RNA-2 of a flat
apple isolate of Cherry rasp leaf virus with regions showing greater identity
to animal picornaviruses than to related plant viruses. Archives of Virology
- C. Upton, D. Hogg, D. Perrin, M. Boone and N. Harris, 2001. Viral Genome Organizer:
A system for analyzing complete viral genomes. Virus Research 70, 55-64.
- M. Boone and C. Upton, 2000. BLAST Search Updater: A notification system
for new database matches. Bioinformatics 16, 1054-1055.
- Hiscock, D. and C. Upton. 2000. Viral Genome Database: A tool for storing
and analyzing genes and proteins from complete viral genomes. Bioinformatics
- Upton, C., 2000. Screening coding regions in poxvirus genomes. Virus
Genes 20, 159-164.
- James, D., W. Jelkmann and C. Upton, 2000. Nucleotide sequence and genome
organization of cherry mottle leaf virus and its relationship to members
of the Trichovirus genus. Archives of Virology. 145, 995-1007.
- Brick, D.J., R.D. Burke, A.A. Minkley and C. Upton, 2000. Ectromelia
virus virulence factor p28 acts upstream of caspase-3 in response to ultra-violet
light induced apoptosis. Journal of General Virology. 81, 1087-1097.
- Chen, D., R.M. L. Buller, E.M. Wall and C. Upton, 2000. Analysis of host
response modifier ORFs of ectromelia virus, the causative agent of mousepox.
Virus Research. 66, 155-73.
- James, D., W. Jelkmann and C. Upton, 1999. Single primer pair designs
that facilitate simultaneous detection and differentiation of peach mosaic
virus and cherry mottle leaf virus. Journal of Virological Methods 83, 103-11.
- James, D., Jelkmann, W. and Upton, C. 1999. Specific detection of cherry
mottle leaf virus using digoxigenin-labelled cDNA probes and RT-PCR. Plant
Disease 83, 235-239.
- Brick, D.J., Burke, R.D., Schiff, L. and Upton, C. 1998. Shope fibroma
virus RING finger protein N1R binds DNA and inhibits apoptosis. Virology
- Dickstein, R., Davies, P. C., Hoogland, D. S., Brick, D. J. and Upton,
C. 1998. An Arabidopsis lipase-like gene within a sequence previously
characterized as an intron. J. Biochem. Mol. Biol. & Biophys. 1,
- Wall, E. M., Cao, J., Chen, N., Buller, R. M. L. and Upton, C. 1997.
A novel poxvirus gene and its human homolog are similar to an E. coli
lysophopholipase. Virus Research 52, 157-167.
- Cattell, K., Koop, B. F., Olafson, R. S., Fellows, M., Bailey, I., Olafson,
R. W., and Upton, C. 1996. Approaches to detection of distantly related
proteins by database searches. BioTechniques 21, 1118-1125. WWW
- Brick, D.J., M.J. Brumlik, J.T. Buckley, J. Cao, P.C. Davies, S. Misra,
T.J. Tranbarger and C. Upton, 1995. A new family of lipolytic plant enzymes
with members in rice, arabidopsis and maize. FEB Letters 377, 475-480.
- Upton, C. and Buckley, J. T. 1995 A new family of lipolytic enzymes?
Trends in Biochem.Sci. 20: 178-179.
- Upton, C., Schiff, L., Rice, S. A., Dowdeswell, T., Yang, X. and McFadden,
G. 1994 A poxvirus protein with a RING finger motif binds zinc and localizes
in virus factories. J. Virol. 68:4186-4195.
- Upton. C., Stuart, D.T. and McFadden, G. 1993 Identification of a poxvirus
gene encoding a uracil DNA glycosylase. PNAS 90:4518-4522.
- Upton C., Mossman, K. and McFadden, G. 1992 Encoding of a homolog of
the IFN-gamma receptor by myxoma virus. Science 258:1369-1372.
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