Rare De Novo Germline Copy-Number Variation in Testicular Cancer

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.
The American Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 10.93). 08/2012; 91(2):379-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.06.019
Source: PubMed


Although heritable factors are an important determinant of risk of early-onset cancer, the majority of these malignancies appear to occur sporadically without identifiable risk factors. Germline de novo copy-number variations (CNVs) have been observed in sporadic neurocognitive and cardiovascular disorders. We explored this mechanism in 382 genomes of 116 early-onset cancer case-parent trios and unaffected siblings. Unique de novo germline CNVs were not observed in 107 breast or colon cancer trios or controls but were indeed found in 7% of 43 testicular germ cell tumor trios; this percentage exceeds background CNV rates and suggests a rare de novo genetic paradigm for susceptibility to some human malignancies.

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    • "Nevertheless, these six loci together with the “gr/gr” deletion account for less than 15% of the excess familial risk, suggesting that many more risk alleles remain unaccounted for (reviewed in [19,22]). A recent study suggested a possible role for de novo germline copy number variants (CNVs); such variants were seen in 7% of 43 TGCT trios, greater than the expected background rate of CNVs [23]. With these results in mind, whole exome/genome sequencing studies, focusing on large series of familial TGCTs is likely to be the next step in efforts to understand the genetic basis of TGCT. "
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    BMC Research Notes 04/2013; 6(1):127. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-6-127
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    ABSTRACT: Testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) is one of the most heritable forms of cancer. Previous genome-wide association studies have focused on single nucleotide polymorphisms, largely ignoring the influence of copy number variants (CNVs). Here we present a genome-wide study of CNV on a cohort of 212 cases and 437 controls from Denmark, which was genotyped at ∼1.8 million markers, half of which were non-polymorphic copy number markers. No association of common variants were found, whereas analysis of rare variants (present in less than 1% of the samples) initially indicated a single gene with significantly higher accumulation of rare CNVs in cases as compared to controls, at the gene PTPN1 (P = 3.8 × 10(-2), 0.9% of cases and 0% of controls). However, the CNV could not be verified by qPCR in the affected samples. Further, the CNV calling of the array-data was validated by sequencing of the GSTM1 gene, which showed that the CNV frequency was in complete agreement between the two platforms. This study therefore disconfirms the hypothesis that there exists a single CNV locus with a major effect size that predisposes to TGCC. Genome-wide pathway association analysis indicated a weak association of rare CNVs related to cell migration (false-discovery rate = 0.021, 1.8% of cases and 1.1% of controls). Dysregulation during migration of primordial germ cells has previously been suspected to be a part of TGCC development and this set of multiple rare variants may thereby have a minor contribution to an increased susceptibility of TGCCs.
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    ABSTRACT: Copy number variants (CNVs) are genomic rearrangements resulting from gains or losses of DNA segments. Typically, the term refers to rearrangements of sequences larger than 1 kb. This type of polymorphism has recently been shown to be a key contributor to intra-species genetic variation, along with single-nucleotide polymorphisms and short insertion-deletion polymorphisms. Over the last decade, a growing number of studies have highlighted the importance of copy number variation (CNV) as a factor affecting human phenotype and individual CNVs have been linked to risks for severe diseases. In plants, the exploration of the extent and role of CNV is still just beginning. Initial genomic analyses indicate that CNVs are prevalent in plants and have greatly affected plant genome evolution. Many CNV events have been observed in outcrossing and autogamous species. CNVs are usually found on all chromosomes, with CNV hotspots interspersed with regions of very low genetic variation. Although CNV is mainly associated with intergenic regions, many CNVs encompass protein-coding genes. The collected data suggest that CNV mainly affects the members of large families of functionally redundant genes. Thus, the effects of individual CNV events on phenotype are usually modest. Nevertheless, there are many cases in which CNVs for specific genes have been linked to important traits such as flowering time, plant height and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. Recent reports suggest that CNVs may form rapidly in response to stress.
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