[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling proteins are often identified in a variety of cancers. For example, the histone demethylase JARID1C is frequently inactivated in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); however, it is largely unknown how JARID1C dysfunction promotes cancer. Here, we determined that JARID1C binds broadly to chromatin domains characterized by the trimethylation of lysine 9 (H3K9me3), which is a histone mark enriched in heterochromatin. Moreover, we found that JARID1C localizes on heterochromatin, is required for heterochromatin replication, and forms a complex with established players of heterochromatin assembly, including SUV39H1 and HP1α, as well as with proteins not previously associated with heterochromatin assembly, such as the cullin 4 (CUL4) complex adaptor protein DDB1. Transcription on heterochromatin is tightly suppressed to safeguard the genome, and in ccRCC cells, JARID1C inactivation led to the unrestrained expression of heterochromatic noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that in turn triggered genomic instability. Moreover, ccRCC patients harboring JARID1C mutations exhibited aberrant ncRNA expression and increased genomic rearrangements compared with ccRCC patients with tumors endowed with other genetic lesions. Together, these data suggest that inactivation of JARID1C in renal cancer leads to heterochromatin disruption, genomic rearrangement, and aggressive ccRCCs. Moreover, our results shed light on a mechanism that underlies genomic instability in sporadic cancers.
Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA replication−associated mutations are repaired by two components: polymerase proofreading and mismatch repair. The mutation consequences of disruption to both repair components in humans are not well studied. We sequenced cancer genomes from children with inherited biallelic mismatch repair deficiency (bMMRD). High-grade bMMRD brain tumors exhibited massive numbers of substitution mutations (>250/Mb), which was greater than all childhood and most cancers (>7,000 analyzed). All ultra-hypermutated bMMRD cancers acquired early somatic driver mutations in DNA polymerase ε or δ. The ensuing mutation signatures and numbers are unique and diagnostic of childhood germ-line bMMRD (P < 10^−13). Sequential tumor biopsy analysis revealed that bMMRD/polymerase-mutant cancers rapidly amass an excess of simultaneous mutations (~600 mutations/cell division), reaching but not exceeding ~20,000 exonic mutations in <6 months. This implies a threshold compatible with cancer-cell survival. We suggest a new mechanism of cancer progression in which mutations develop in a rapid burst after ablation of replication repair.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancers are composed of populations of cells with distinct molecular and phenotypic features, a phenomenon termed intratumor
heterogeneity (ITH). ITH in lung cancers has not been well studied. We applied multiregion whole-exome sequencing (WES) on
11 localized lung adenocarcinomas. All tumors showed clear evidence of ITH. On average, 76% of all mutations and 20 out of
21 known cancer gene mutations were identified in all regions of individual tumors, which suggested that single-region sequencing
may be adequate to identify the majority of known cancer gene mutations in localized lung adenocarcinomas. With a median follow-up
of 21 months after surgery, three patients have relapsed, and all three patients had significantly larger fractions of subclonal
mutations in their primary tumors than patients without relapse. These data indicate that a larger subclonal mutation fraction
may be associated with increased likelihood of postsurgical relapse in patients with localized lung adenocarcinomas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent sequencing studies have extensively explored the somatic alterations present in the nuclear genomes of cancers. Although mitochondria control energy metabolism and apoptosis, the origins and impact of cancer-associated mutations in mtDNA are unclear. Here, we analysed somatic alterations in mtDNA from 1,675 tumors. We identified 1,907 somatic substitutions, which exhibited dramatic replicative strand bias, predominantly C>T and A>G on the mitochondrial heavy strand. This strand-asymmetric signature differs from those found in nuclear cancer genomes but matches the inferred germline process shaping primate mtDNA sequence content. Numbers of mtDNA mutations showed considerable heterogeneity across tumor types. Missense mutations were selectively neutral and often gradually drifted towards homoplasmy over time. In contrast, mutations resulting in protein truncation undergo negative selection and were almost exclusively heteroplasmic. Our findings indicate that the endogenous mutational mechanism has far greater impact than any other external mutagens in mitochondria, and is fundamentally linked to mtDNA replication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in vivo validation of cancer mutations and genes identified in cancer genomics is resource-intensive because of the low throughput of animal experiments. We describe a mouse model that allows multiple cancer mutations to be validated in each animal line. Animal lines are generated with multiple candidate cancer mutations using transposons. The candidate cancer genes are tagged and randomly expressed in somatic cells, allowing easy identification of the cancer genes involved in the generated tumours. This system presents a useful, generalised and efficient means for animal validation of cancer genes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0455-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent work has delineated mutational profiles in multiple myeloma and reported a median of 52 mutations per patient as well as a set of commonly mutated genes across multiple patients. Here we have used deep sequencing of RNA from a subset of these patients to evaluate the proportion of expressed mutations. We find that the majority of previously identified mutations occur within genes with very low or no detectable expression. On average, 27% (range 11-47%) of mutated alleles are found to be expressed and among mutated genes that are expressed, there often is allele-specific expression where either the mutant or wild type allele is suppressed. Even in the absence of an overall change in gene expression, the presence of differential allelic expression within malignant cells highlights the important contribution of RNA-sequencing in identifying clinically significant mutational changes relevant to our understanding of myeloma biology and also for therapeutic applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long interspersed nuclear element-1 (L1) retrotransposons are mobile repetitive elements that are abundant in the human genome. L1 elements propagate through RNA intermediates. In the germ line, neighboring, nonrepetitive sequences are occasionally mobilized by the L1 machinery, a process called 3' transduction. Because 3' transductions are potentially mutagenic, we explored the extent to which they occur somatically during tumorigenesis. Studying cancer genomes from 244 patients, we found that tumors from 53% of the patients had somatic retrotranspositions, of which 24% were 3' transductions. Fingerprinting of donor L1s revealed that a handful of source L1 elements in a tumor can spawn from tens to hundreds of 3' transductions, which can themselves seed further retrotranspositions. The activity of individual L1 elements fluctuated during tumor evolution and correlated with L1 promoter hypomethylation. The 3' transductions disseminated genes, exons, and regulatory elements to new locations, most often to heterochromatic regions of the genome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer evolves by mutation, with somatic reactivation of retrotransposons being one such mutational process. Germline retrotransposition can cause processed pseudogenes, but whether this occurs somatically has not been evaluated. Here we screen sequencing data from 660 cancer samples for somatically acquired pseudogenes. We find 42 events in 17 samples, especially non-small cell lung cancer (5/27) and colorectal cancer (2/11). Genomic features mirror those of germline LINE element retrotranspositions, with frequent target-site duplications (67%), consensus TTTTAA sites at insertion points, inverted rearrangements (21%), 5 0 truncation (74%) and polyA tails (88%). Transcriptional consequences include expression of pseudogenes from UTRs or introns of target genes. In addition, a somatic pseudogene that integrated into the promoter and first exon of the tumour suppressor gene, MGA, abrogated expression from that allele. Thus, formation of processed pseudogenes represents a new class of mutation occurring during cancer development, with potentially diverse functional consequences depending on genomic context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiosarcoma is an aggressive malignancy that arises spontaneously or secondarily to ionizing radiation or chronic lymphoedema. Previous work has identified aberrant angiogenesis, including occasional somatic mutations in angiogenesis signaling genes, as a key driver of angiosarcoma. Here we employed whole-genome, whole-exome and targeted sequencing to study the somatic changes underpinning primary and secondary angiosarcoma. We identified recurrent mutations in two genes, PTPRB and PLCG1, which are intimately linked to angiogenesis. The endothelial phosphatase PTPRB, a negative regulator of vascular growth factor tyrosine kinases, harbored predominantly truncating mutations in 10 of 39 tumors (26%). PLCG1, a signal transducer of tyrosine kinases, encoded a recurrent, likely activating p.Arg707Gln missense variant in 3 of 34 cases (9%). Overall, 15 of 39 tumors (38%) harbored at least one driver mutation in angiogenesis signaling genes. Our findings inform and reinforce current therapeutic efforts to target angiogenesis signaling in angiosarcoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clear cell renal carcinomas (ccRCCs) can display intratumor heterogeneity (ITH). We applied multiregion exome sequencing (M-seq) to resolve the genetic architecture and evolutionary histories of ten ccRCCs. Ultra-deep sequencing identified ITH in all cases. We found that 73-75% of identified ccRCC driver aberrations were subclonal, confounding estimates of driver mutation prevalence. ITH increased with the number of biopsies analyzed, without evidence of saturation in most tumors. Chromosome 3p loss and VHL aberrations were the only ubiquitous events. The proportion of C>T transitions at CpG sites increased during tumor progression. M-seq permits the temporal resolution of ccRCC evolution and refines mutational signatures occurring during tumor development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma is an incurable plasma cell malignancy with a complex and incompletely understood molecular pathogenesis. Here we use whole-exome sequencing, copy-number profiling and cytogenetics to analyse 84 myeloma samples. Most cases have a complex subclonal structure and show clusters of subclonal variants, including subclonal driver mutations. Serial sampling reveals diverse patterns of clonal evolution, including linear evolution, differential clonal response and branching evolution. Diverse processes contribute to the mutational repertoire, including kataegis and somatic hypermutation, and their relative contribution changes over time. We find heterogeneity of mutational spectrum across samples, with few recurrent genes. We identify new candidate genes, including truncations of SP140, LTB, ROBO1 and clustered missense mutations in EGR1. The myeloma genome is heterogeneous across the cohort, and exhibits diversity in clonal admixture and in dynamics of evolution, which may impact prognostic stratification, therapeutic approaches and assessment of disease response to treatment.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is recognized that some mutated cancer genes contribute to the development of many cancer types, whereas others are cancer type specific. For genes that are mutated in multiple cancer classes, mutations are usually similar in the different affected cancer types. Here, however, we report exquisite tumor type specificity for different histone H3.3 driver alterations. In 73 of 77 cases of chondroblastoma (95%), we found p.Lys36Met alterations predominantly encoded in H3F3B, which is one of two genes for histone H3.3. In contrast, in 92% (49/53) of giant cell tumors of bone, we found histone H3.3 alterations exclusively in H3F3A, leading to p.Gly34Trp or, in one case, p.Gly34Leu alterations. The mutations were restricted to the stromal cell population and were not detected in osteoclasts or their precursors. In the context of previously reported H3F3A mutations encoding p.Lys27Met and p.Gly34Arg or p.Gly34Val alterations in childhood brain tumors, a remarkable picture of tumor type specificity for histone H3.3 driver alterations emerges, indicating that histone H3.3 residues, mutations and genes have distinct functions.