SWI/SNF complex alterations as a biomarker of immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUNDImmune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) fail to demonstrate efficacy in pancreatic cancer. Recently, genomic biomarkers have been associated with response to ICIs: microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) and tumor mutation burden (TMB) > 10 mutations/Mb. Alterations in Switch/Sucrose Nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling genes may predispose to improved outcomes with immunotherapy. The current study examined a possible role for SWI/SNF complex abnormalities in pancreatic cancer responsiveness to ICIs.METHODSA database of 6831 cancer patients that had undergone next-generation sequencing (NGS) was filtered for advanced pancreatic cancer, SWI/SNF alterations, and outcomes depending on immunotherapy treatment.RESULTSNine patients had metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma harboring SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling gene alterations and had received ICIs: 7 had an ARID1A alteration (77%); 2, ARID1B (22%); 3, SMARCA4 (33%); 1, SMARCB1 (11%); and 1, PBRM1 (11%). Three patients possessed more than 1 SWI/SNF complex alteration. Only 3 tumors were microsatellite unstable. Eight of 9 patients (89%) achieved an objective response, including a complete remission, with the 2 longest responses ongoing at 33+ and 36+ months. Median progression-free and overall survival was 9 and 15 months, respectively. Responses occurred even in the presence of microsatellite stability, low TMB, and/or low PD-L1 expression.CONCLUSIONA small subset of patients with pancreatic cancer have genomic alterations in SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling components and appear to be responsive to ICIs, suggesting the need for prospective trials.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02478931.FUNDINGJoan and Irwin Jacobs Fund, NIH P30 CA023100 (RK) and LRP KYGF9753 (GPB), the Gershenson, Duarte, and anonymous patient families (GPB).
Project description:Defining the molecular genetic alterations underlying pancreatic cancer may provide unique therapeutic insight for this deadly disease. Toward this goal, we report here an integrative DNA microarray and sequencing-based analysis of pancreatic cancer genomes. Notable among the alterations newly identified, genomic deletions, mutations, and rearrangements recurrently targeted genes encoding components of the SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex, including all three putative DNA binding subunits (ARID1A, ARID1B, and PBRM1) and both enzymatic subunits (SMARCA2 and SMARCA4). Whereas alterations of each individual SWI/SNF subunit occurred at modest-frequency, as mutational "hills" in the genomic landscape, together they affected at least one-third of all pancreatic cancers, defining SWI/SNF as a major mutational "mountain." Consistent with a tumor-suppressive role, re-expression of SMARCA4 in SMARCA4-deficient pancreatic cancer cell lines reduced cell growth and promoted senescence, whereas its overexpression in a SWI/SNF-intact line had no such effect. In addition, expression profiling analyses revealed that SWI/SNF likely antagonizes Polycomb repressive complex 2, implicating this as one possible mechanism of tumor suppression. Our findings reveal SWI/SNF to be a central tumor suppressive complex in pancreatic cancer.
Project description:Worldwide, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has the highest morbidity and mortality of all malignancies. The lack of responsiveness to checkpoint inhibitors is a central problem in the modern era of cancer immunotherapy, with the rapid development of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in recent years. The human switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-remodeling complex has been reported to be recurrently mutated in patients with cancer, and those with SWI/SNF mutations have been reported to be sensitive to ICIs. Six reported cohorts, a total of 3416 patients, were used to analyze the mutation status of ARID1A, ARID1B, ARID2 and SMARCA4 in patients with NSCLC and the effect of mutations on prognosis after ICIs. Finally, a nomogram was established to guide the clinical use of ICIs. The results show that patients with NSCLC who have ARID1A, ARID1B, and ARID2 mutations of the SWI/SNF complex were more likely to benefit from ICI therapy.
Project description:While gemcitabine has been the mainstay therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer, newer combination regimens (e.g. FOLFIRINOX) have extended patient survival, though carry greater toxicity. Biomarkers are needed to better stratify patients for appropriate therapy. Previously, we reported that one-third of pancreatic cancers harbor deletions or deleterious mutations in key subunits of the SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex. The SWI/SNF complex mobilizes nucleosomes on DNA, and plays a key role in modulating DNA transcription and repair. Thus, we hypothesized that pancreatic cancers with SWI/SNF aberrations might exhibit compromised DNA repair, and show increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Here, we studied human pancreatic cancer cell lines with deficient (or else exogenously reconstituted) SWI/SNF subunits, as well as normal pancreatic epithelial cells following SWI/SNF subunit knockdown. Cells were challenged with DNA damaging agents, including those used in current combination regimens, and then cell viability assayed. We found that pancreatic cells with SWI/SNF dysfunction showed markedly increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, and in particular DNA crosslinking agents (cisplatin and oxaliplatin). Assaying clearance of ?H2AX confirmed that SWI/SNF dysfunction impaired DNA damage response/repair. Finally, by analyzing pancreatic cancer patient data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found that pancreatic cancers with SWI/SNF deficiency (subunit mutation and/or decreased expression) were associated with extended patient survival specifically when treated with platinum containing regimens. Thus, SWI/SNF dysfunction sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to DNA crosslinking agents, and SWI/SNF mutation status may provide a useful biomarker to predict which patients are likely to benefit from platinum-containing chemotherapy regimens.
Project description:Mutations in members of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling family are common events in cancer, but the mechanisms whereby disruption of SWI/SNF components alters tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. To model the effect of loss of function mutations in the SWI/SNF subunit Arid1a in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) initiation, we directed shRNA triggered, inducible and reversible suppression of Arid1a to the mouse pancreas in the setting of oncogenic KrasG12D. Arid1a cooperates with Kras in the adult pancreas as postnatal silencing of Arid1a following sustained KrasG12D expression induces rapid and irreversible reprogramming of acinar cells into mucinous PDAC precursor lesions. In contrast, Arid1a silencing during embryogenesis, concurrent with KrasG12D activation, leads to retention of acinar cell fate. Together, our results demonstrate Arid1a as a critical modulator of Kras-dependent changes in acinar cell identity, and underscore an unanticipated influence of timing and genetic context on the effects of SWI/SNF complex alterations in epithelial tumorigenesis.
Project description:The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex is composed of approximately 15 subunits, and approximately 20% of all cancers carry mutations in the genes encoding these subunits. Most of the genetic alterations in these genes are loss-of-function mutations. The identification of vulnerability based on synthetic lethality in cancers with SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex deficiency contributes to precision medicine. The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex is involved in transcription, DNA repair, DNA replication, and chromosomal segregation. Cancers with deficiency in the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex show increased vulnerability derived from the loss of these functions. Synthetic lethal targets have been identified based on vulnerabilities in the functions of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. In this review article, we propose a precision medicine strategy using chemotherapeutic methods, such as molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy, based on harnessing synthetic lethality in cancers with deficiency in the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex.
Project description:Snf-Swi, the prototypical ATP-dependent nucleosome-remodeling complex, regulates transcription of a subset of yeast genes. With the exception of Snf2p, the ATPase subunit, the functions of the other components are unknown. We have investigated the role of the conserved Snf-Swi core subunit Snf5p through characterization of two conditional snf5 mutants. The mutants contain single amino acid alterations of invariant or conserved residues that abolish Snf-Swi-dependent transcription by distinct mechanisms. One mutation impairs Snf-Swi assembly and, consequently, its stable association with a target promoter. The other blocks a postrecruitment catalytic remodeling step. These findings suggest that Snf5p coordinates the assembly and nucleosome-remodeling activities of Snf-Swi.
Project description:Human cancer genome sequencing has recently revealed that genes that encode subunits of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes are frequently mutated across a wide variety of cancers, and several subunits of the complex have been shown to have bona fide tumor suppressor activity. However, whether mutations in SWI/SNF subunits result in shared dependencies is unknown. Here we show that EZH2, a catalytic subunit of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), is essential in all tested cancer cell lines and xenografts harboring mutations of the SWI/SNF subunits ARID1A, PBRM1, and SMARCA4, which are several of the most frequently mutated SWI/SNF subunits in human cancer, but that co-occurrence of a Ras pathway mutation is correlated with abrogation of this dependence. Notably, we demonstrate that SWI/SNF-mutant cancer cells are primarily dependent on a non-catalytic role of EZH2 in the stabilization of the PRC2 complex, and that they are only partially dependent on EZH2 histone methyltransferase activity. These results not only reveal a shared dependency of cancers with genetic alterations in SWI/SNF subunits, but also suggest that EZH2 enzymatic inhibitors now in clinical development may not fully suppress the oncogenic activity of EZH2.
Project description:The clinicopathological significance of altered SWI/SNF complex has not been well evaluated in gastric cancer (GC). We examined SMARCA2, SMARCA4, SMARCB1 and ARID1A expression by immunohistochemistry in 1224 surgically resected GCs with subtyping into Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), microsatellite instability (MSI) and non-EBV/MSI Lauren histotypes. SWI/SNF mutations were investigated using the GC dataset of the TCGA Pan-Cancer Atlas. Clinicopathological association was assessed by statistical analysis. There were 427 cases (35%) of SWI/SNF-attenuated GC, including 344 SMARCA2 (28%), 28 SMARCA4 (2%), 11 SMARCB1 (1%) and 197 ARID1A (16%) cases. Simultaneous alterations of multiple subunits were observed. Compared to SWI/SNF-retained cases, SWI/SNF-attenuated GC exhibited a significant predilection to older ages, EBV and MSI genotypes, higher lymphatic invasion and less hematogenous recurrence (P < 0.05). SWI/SNF attenuation was an independent risk factor for short overall survival (P = 0.001, hazard ratio 1.360, 95% confidence interval 1.138-1.625). The survival impact stemmed from SMARCA2-attenuated GCs in stage III and non-EBV/MSI diffuse/mixed subtypes (P = 0.019 and < 0.001, respectively). ARID1A-lost/heterogeneous GCs were more aggressive in the EBV genotype (P = 0.016). SMARCB1 or SMARCA4 loss was not restricted to rhabdoid/undifferentiated carcinoma. In the TCGA dataset, 223 of 434 GCs (52%) harbored deleterious SWI/SNF mutations, including ARID1A (27%), SMARCA2 (9%), ARID2 (9%), ARID1B (8%), PBRM1 (7%), and SMARCA4 (7%). SWI/SNF-mutated GCs displayed a favorable outcome owing to the high percentage with the MSI genotype. In conclusion, SWI/SNF-altered GCs are common and the clinicopathological significance is related to the genotype.
Project description:The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex is frequently inactivated by somatic mutations of its various components in various types of cancers, and also by aberrant DNA methylation. However, its somatic mutations and aberrant methylation in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) have not been fully analyzed. In this study, we aimed to clarify in ESCC, what components of the SWI/SNF complex have somatic mutations and aberrant methylation, and when somatic mutations of the SWI/SNF complex occur. Deep sequencing of components of the SWI/SNF complex using a bench-top next generation sequencer revealed that eight of 92 ESCCs (8.7%) had 11 somatic mutations of 7 genes, ARID1A, ARID2, ATRX, PBRM1, SMARCA4, SMARCAL1, and SMARCC1. The SMARCA4 mutations were located in the Forkhead (85Ser>Leu) and SNF2 family N-terminal (882Glu>Lys) domains. The PBRM1 mutations were located in a bromodomain (80Asn>Ser) and an HMG-box domain (1,377Glu>Lys). For most mutations, their mutant allele frequency was 31-77% (mean 61%) of the fraction of cancer cells in the same samples, indicating that most of the cancer cells in individual ESCC samples had the SWI/SNF mutations on one allele, when present. In addition, a BeadChip array analysis revealed that a component of the SWI/SNF complex, ACTL6B, had aberrant methylation at its promoter CpG island in 18 of 52 ESCCs (34.6%). These results showed that genetic and epigenetic alterations of the SWI/SNF complex are present in ESCCs, and suggested that genetic alterations are induced at an early stage of esophageal squamous cell carcinogenesis.
Project description:Transcription factors positively and/or negatively impact gene expression by recruiting coregulatory factors, which interact through protein-protein binding. Here we demonstrate that mouse pancreas size and islet ?-cell function are controlled by the ATP-dependent Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling coregulatory complex that physically associates with Pdx1, a diabetes-linked transcription factor essential to pancreatic morphogenesis and adult islet cell function and maintenance. Early embryonic deletion of just the Swi/Snf Brg1 ATPase subunit reduced multipotent pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and resulted in pancreas hypoplasia. In contrast, removal of both Swi/Snf ATPase subunits, Brg1 and Brm, was necessary to compromise adult islet ?-cell activity, which included whole-animal glucose intolerance, hyperglycemia, and impaired insulin secretion. Notably, lineage-tracing analysis revealed Swi/Snf-deficient ?-cells lost the ability to produce the mRNAs for Ins and other key metabolic genes without effecting the expression of many essential islet-enriched transcription factors. Swi/Snf was necessary for Pdx1 to bind to the Ins gene enhancer, demonstrating the importance of this association in mediating chromatin accessibility. These results illustrate how fundamental the Pdx1:Swi/Snf coregulator complex is in the pancreas, and we discuss how disrupting their association could influence type 1 and type 2 diabetes susceptibility.