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Mutation T@ster


Welcome to the MutationTaster NEWS. This page keeps you up to date about changes of/in MutationTaster.


IMPORTANT: MutationTaster QueryEngine bug

We want to inform all users of a MutationTaster QueryEngine bug that has been fixed by 24th of July 2014. We strongly recommend rerunning your analysis if your project is potentially affected and was analysed before that date.

The bug concerns projects were the "analyse complete VCF but only exons" option was selected and a number greater than 0 was entered for the number of flanking bases. In these cases, some variants were wrongly excluded from the analysis. If for instance "10" was entered for the number of flanking bases, only variants located between the 5' end of exonic sequences +10 bases upstream and the 3' end of exonic sequences + 10 bases upstream were analysed. Correctly, the filter should have selected all variants that are located between the 5' end of exonic sequences +10 bases upstream and the 3' end of exonic sequences + 10 bases downstream.

QueryEngine queries that were not selected for this option, single queries or queries by chromosomal positions were not affected by this bug.

We do not know yet for how long this bug existed. Recent analyses are most likely affected but to be on the safe side, we recommend all potentially affected users to rerun their analysis.

We apologise for any inconvenience and encourage all users to contact us if they have further questions or encounter any problems.


better integration of ClinVar

We updated our ClinVar data - and do now display the clinical phenotype...


new server, mail information working, new date format

We have just moved www.mutationtaster.org to our new server (doro.charite.de) on which we have already been running MutationTaster2. The old version is still on the Internet but we will switch it off in the very near future. While we are moving, some links may become 'dead' - please reload the pages from time to time, especially when you encounter any strange server errors or elements are missing...

Besides, we have fixed a bug that prevented the QueryEngine from sending e-mails for completed jobs.

And - yes - we have changed the date format on this page to an international format. :-)

March 4th, 2013 - everything is faster now...

integration of the public version of HGMD

We have integrated the public version of the Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). The data includes the positions of the disease mutations and their HGMD ID. The disease alleles are not included so we cannot use HGMD for automatic predictions.
Whenever an HGMD public disease mutation is found at the same position as a variant, this will be written in the summary. We also place a direct hyperlink to the mutation in HGMD into the 'dbSNP / TGP / HGMD(public) / ClinVar' field, so you can check whether the HGMD mutation has the same allele as your variant (and whether the disease matches). Please note that you must be logged in at the HGMD site to make the hyperlink work - access to the public version is free but requires registration.

BLAST results of protein conservation analysis cached

We are happy to inform you that we were able to substantially improve MutationTaster's speed by caching the BLAST results which are generated for conservation analysis on protein level. Once a gene is queried via MutationTaster, the alignment of the wildtype protein sequence with the homolog sequences of up to ten other species will be stored in our database. The next time the same gene is queried, it is not necessary to invoke BLASTp again, but the alignments can be retrieved from our database, which is much faster than calling BLASTp.

new method for comparison of amino acid sequences

Formerly, we have used a Needleman-Wunsch application in order to compare the wildtype amino acid sequence with the mutated amino acid sequence and thus identify amino acid changes caused by a DNA mutation. Unfortunately, the Needleman-Wunsch application led to high CPU loads making our server suffer. For this reason, we decided to build a customized subroutine (basically by doing string diff) in order to identify changes in the protein sequence. The waiving of the Needleman-Wunsch application further enhances MutationTaster's speed.

conservation analysis on nucleotide level is now optional

By default, nucleotide alignment is not run, since the BLAST call slows down MutationTaster and the results are not used by the Bayes Classifier anyway. You can ask MutatioTaster to assess conservation status on nucleotide level nevertheless by checking this option on the start page. As a (better) alternative to conservation analysis on nucleotide level, since the release of MutatiopnTaster2, we offer phyloP and PhastCons scores as a measure of evolutionary conservation (see documentation for further information on phyloP and PhastCons usage in MutationTaster).

February 7th, 2013

Grantham scores changed

For historical reasons, formerly, we have not displayed the original Grantham scores but scaled them down to values ranging from 0.0 to 6.0. Since the Grantham scores are not used by the Classifier to generate the prediction, but are only displayed for user information, we decided to switch to the original Grantham scores. These range from 0 to 215.

December 2012

MutationTaster 2

We are very happy to inform you about the availability of a new version of MutationTaster. It is not only based on the current version of Ensembl (v69), but also comes along with the following improvements:
More details can be found in the documentation.

query chromosomal positions

Upon great demand, we built an extra interface to query MutationTaster with chromosomal positions. MutationTaster analyses the submitted variant at the given position in all feasible Ensembl transcripts and puts out a table with summarized results as well as the traditional detailed results.

QueryEngine replaces BatchQueries and NGSpipeline

While a few years ago, Sanger sequencing produced only a handful of variants at once, people nowadays run more and more Next Generation Sequencing projects. We felt that our services BatchQueries and NGSpipeline doesn't meet the requirements for data analysis of these high-throughput techniques any more and thus decided to build a much faster and better QueryEngine. It enables you to analyse the results of Next Generation Sequencing (e.g. Whole Exome Sequencing) projects in a comfortable way and reasonable time. The input format for the QueryEngine is VCF, which is the output format of many variant calling algorithms and emerged to be the standard format in the field. The QueryEngine provided here runs stable, but a beta version exists and will soon be released with additional features. Look up more details in the QueryEngine documentation. With the release of the QueryEngine we will end our support for the deprecated BatchQueries and NGSpipeline. The scripts can still be downloaded here (BatchQueries | NGSpipeline), but are not further maintained and supported. We friendly request your sympathy for this decision. It was mainly made because we are only two people and for time issues cannot handle the support questions concerning the old services any more.


In case you discover bugs, have suggestions or questions, please write an e-mail to
Jana Marie Schwarz (jana-marie.schwarz AT charite.de) or to
Dominik Seelow
(dominik.seelow AT charite.de).
We also appreciate hearing about your general experiences using MutationTaster.