ABSTRACT: Cancers are ecosystems of genetically related clones, competing across space and time for limited resources. To understand the clonal structure of primary breast cancer, we applied genome and targeted sequencing to 295 samples from 49 patients’ tumors. The extent of subclonal diversification varied considerably among patients and encompassed many spatial patterns, including local growth, intraductal dissemination and clonal intermixture. Landmarks of disease progression, such as acquiring invasive or metastatic potential, arose within detectable subclones of antecedent lesions, suggesting that subclonal mutations could be relevant if actionable. No defined temporal order of mutation was evident, with the commonest genes, including PIK3CA, TP53, BRCA2, PTEN and MYC, mutated early in some, late in others, often exhibiting parallel evolution across subclones. Signatures of homologous recombination deficiency correlated with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Thus, the interplay of mutation, growth and competition drives clonal structures of breast cancer that are complex, variable across patients and clinically relevant.
Project description:Cancers are ecosystems of genetically related clones, competing across space and time for limited resources. To understand the clonal structure of primary breast cancer, we applied genome and targeted sequencing to 295 samples from 49 patients’ tumors. The extent of subclonal diversification varied considerably among patients and encompassed many spatial patterns, including local growth, intraductal dissemination and clonal intermixture. Landmarks of disease progression, such as acquiring invasive or metastatic potential, arose within detectable subclones of antecedent lesions, suggesting that subclonal mutations could be relevant if actionable. No defined temporal order of mutation was evident, with the commonest genes, including PIK3CA, TP53, BRCA2, PTEN and MYC, mutated early in some, late in others, often exhibiting parallel evolution across subclones. Signatures of homologous recombination deficiency correlated with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Thus, the interplay of mutation, growth and competition drives clonal structures of breast cancer that are complex, variable across patients and clinically relevant.
Project description:Clonal evolution is a key feature of cancer progression and relapse. We studied intratumoral heterogeneity in 149 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cases by integrating whole-exome sequence and copy number to measure the fraction of cancer cells harboring each somatic mutation. We identified driver mutations as predominantly clonal (e.g., MYD88, trisomy 12, and del(13q)) or subclonal (e.g., SF3B1 and TP53), corresponding to earlier and later events in CLL evolution. We sampled leukemia cells from 18 patients at two time points. Ten of twelve CLL cases treated with chemotherapy (but only one of six without treatment) underwent clonal evolution, predominantly involving subclones with driver mutations (e.g., SF3B1 and TP53) that expanded over time. Furthermore, presence of a subclonal driver mutation was an independent risk factor for rapid disease progression. Our study thus uncovers patterns of clonal evolution in CLL, providing insights into its stepwise transformation, and links the presence of subclones with adverse clinical outcomes.
Project description:The clonal architecture of tumors plays a vital role in their pathogenesis and invasiveness; however, it is not yet clear how this clonality contributes to different malignancies. In this study we sought to address mutational intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). ATL is a malignancy with an incompletely understood molecular pathogenesis caused by infection with human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1). To determine the clonal structure through tumor genetic diversity profiles, we investigated 142 whole-exome sequencing data of tumor and matched normal samples from 71 ATL patients. Based on SciClone analysis, the ATL samples showed a wide spectrum of modes over clonal/subclonal frequencies ranging from one to nine clusters. The average number of clusters was six across samples, but the number of clusters differed among different samples. Of these ATL samples, 94% had more than two clusters. Aggressive ATL cases had slightly more clonal clusters than indolent types, indicating the presence of ITH during earlier stages of disease. The known significantly mutated genes in ATL were frequently clustered together and possibly coexisted in the same clone. IRF4, CCR4, TP53, and PLCG1 mutations were almost clustered in subclones with a moderate variant allele frequency (VAF), whereas HLA-B, CARD11, and NOTCH1 mutations were clustered in subclones with lower VAFs. Taken together, these results show that ATL displays a high degree of ITH and a complex subclonal structure. Our findings suggest that clonal/subclonal architecture might be a useful measure for prognostic purposes and personalized assessment of the therapeutic response.
Project description:The TCL1 mouse model is widely used to study pathophysiology, clonal evolution, and drug sensitivity or resistance of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). By performing whole exome sequencing, we present the genetic landscape of primary tumors from TCL1 mice and of TCL1 tumors serially transplanted into wild-type recipients to mimic clonal evolution. We show that similar to CLL patients, mutations in mice are frequently subclonal and heterogenous among different primary TCL1 mice. We further describe that this molecular heterogeneity mirrors heterogenous disease characteristics such as organ infiltration or CLL dependent T cell skewing. Similar to human CLL, we further observed the occurrence of novel mutations and structural variations during clonal evolution and found plasticity in the expansion of B cell receptor specific subclones. Thus, our results uncover that the genetic complexity, pathway dependence and clonal dynamics in mouse CLL are in relevant agreement to human CLL, and they are important to consider in future research using the TCL1 mouse for studying CLL.
Project description:Genomic studies have revealed the complex clonal heterogeneity of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The acquisition and selection of genomic aberrations may be critical to understanding the progression of this disease. In this study, we have extensively characterized the mutational status of TP53, SF3B1, BIRC3, NOTCH1, and ATM in 406 untreated CLL cases by ultra-deep next-generation sequencing, which detected subclonal mutations down to 0.3% allele frequency. Clonal dynamics were examined in longitudinal samples of 48 CLL patients. We identified a high proportion of subclonal mutations, isolated or associated with clonal aberrations. TP53 mutations were present in 10.6% of patients (6.4% clonal, 4.2% subclonal), ATM mutations in 11.1% (7.8% clonal, 1.3% subclonal, 2% germ line mutations considered pathogenic), SF3B1 mutations in 12.6% (7.4% clonal, 5.2% subclonal), NOTCH1 mutations in 21.8% (14.2% clonal, 7.6% subclonal), and BIRC3 mutations in 4.2% (2% clonal, 2.2% subclonal). ATM mutations, clonal SF3B1, and both clonal and subclonal NOTCH1 mutations predicted for shorter time to first treatment irrespective of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region gene (IGHV) mutational status. Clonal and subclonal TP53 and clonal NOTCH1 mutations predicted for shorter overall survival together with the IGHV mutational status. Clonal evolution in longitudinal samples mainly occurred in cases with mutations in the initial samples and was observed not only after chemotherapy but also in untreated patients. These findings suggest that the characterization of the subclonal architecture and its dynamics in the evolution of the disease may be relevant for the management of CLL patients.
Project description:Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is a recently identified process where older patients accumulate distinct subclones defined by recurring somatic mutations in hematopoietic stem cells. CHIP's implications for stem cell transplantation have been harder to identify due to the high degree of mutational heterogeneity that is present within the genetically distinct subclones. In order to gain a better understanding of CHIP and the impact of clonal dynamics on transplantation outcomes, we created a mathematical model of clonal competition dynamics. Our analyses highlight the importance of understanding competition intensity between healthy and mutant clones. Importantly, we highlight the risk that CHIP poses in leading to dominance of precancerous mutant clones and the risk of donor derived leukemia. Furthermore, we estimate the degree of competition intensity and bone marrow niche decline in mice during aging by using our modeling framework. Together, our work highlights the importance of better characterizing the ecological and clonal composition in hematopoietic donor populations at the time of stem cell transplantation.
Project description:The EBV carrying lines MEC1 and MEC2 were established earlier from explants of blood derived cells of a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patient at different stages of progression to prolymphocytoid transformation (PLL). This pair of lines is unique in several respects. Their common clonal origin was proven by the rearrangement of the immunoglobulin genes. The cells were driven to proliferation in vitro by the same indigenous EBV strain. They are phenotypically different and represent subsequent subclones emerging in the CLL population. Furthermore they reflect the clinical progression of the disease. We emphasize that the support for the expression of the EBV encoded growth program is an important differentiation marker of the CLL cells of origin that was shared by the two subclones. It can be surmised that proliferation of EBV carrying cells in vitro, but not in vivo, reflects the efficient surveillance that functions even in the severe leukemic condition. The MEC1 line arose before the aggressive clinical stage from an EBV carrying cell within the subclone that was in the early prolymphocytic transformation stage while the MEC2 line originated one year later, from the subsequent subclone with overt PLL characteristics. At this time the disease was disseminated and the blood lymphocyte count was considerably elevated. The EBV induced proliferation of the MEC cells belonging to the subclones with markers of PLL agrees with earlier reports in which cells of PLL disease were infected in vitro and immortalized to LCL. They prove also that the expression of EBV encoded set of proteins can be determined at the event of infection. This pair of lines is particularly important as they provide in vitro cells that represent the subclonal evolution of the CLL disease. Furthermore, the phenotype of the MEC1 cells shares several characteristics of ex vivo CLL cells.
Project description:A long-standing observation in evolutionary virology is that RNA virus populations are highly polymorphic, composed by a mixture of genotypes whose abundances in the population depend on complex interaction between fitness differences, mutational coupling and genetic drift. It was shown long ago, though in cell cultures, that most of these genotypes had lower fitness than the population they belong, an observation that explained why single-virion passages turned on Muller's ratchet while very large population passages resulted in fitness increases in novel environments. Here we report the results of an experiment specifically designed to evaluate in vivo the fitness differences among the subclonal components of a clonal population of the plant RNA virus tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV). Over 100 individual biological subclones from a TEV clonal population well adapted to the natural tobacco host were obtained by infectivity assays on a local lesion host. The replicative fitness of these subclones was then evaluated during infection of tobacco relative to the fitness of large random samples taken from the starting clonal population. Fitness was evaluated at increasing number of days post-inoculation. We found that at early days, the average fitness of subclones was significantly lower than the fitness of the clonal population, thus confirming previous observations that most subclones contained deleterious mutations. However, as the number of days of viral replication increases, population size expands exponentially, more beneficial and compensatory mutations are produced, and selection becomes more effective in optimizing fitness, the differences between subclones and the population disappeared.
Project description:What happens in early, still undetectable human malignancies is unknown because direct observations are impractical. Here we present and validate a 'Big Bang' model, whereby tumors grow predominantly as a single expansion producing numerous intermixed subclones that are not subject to stringent selection and where both public (clonal) and most detectable private (subclonal) alterations arise early during growth. Genomic profiling of 349 individual glands from 15 colorectal tumors showed an absence of selective sweeps, uniformly high intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) and subclone mixing in distant regions, as postulated by our model. We also verified the prediction that most detectable ITH originates from early private alterations and not from later clonal expansions, thus exposing the profile of the primordial tumor. Moreover, some tumors appear 'born to be bad', with subclone mixing indicative of early malignant potential. This new model provides a quantitative framework to interpret tumor growth dynamics and the origins of ITH, with important clinical implications.