ABSTRACT: The risk of getting non-melanoma skin cancer varies over 40-fold across the body. Here we map mutations in normal skin in high and low risk sites in normal donors and those with an increased risk of skin cancer. The density of mutations varied widely, with evidence of positive and negative genetic selection.Ã‚Â Regional differences in mutational signatures in high and low cancer risk sites and preferential selection of mutants of TP53 in high risk skin and FAT1 in lower risk skin were observed. 10% of clones had copy number changes in cancer associated genes and the largest had multiple driver mutations with loss of heterozygosity. In hair follicles, a proposed site of origin of skin cancers, mutations in the upper follicle resembled adjacent skin, but the lower follicle was sparsely mutated. We conclude cancer risk reflects the efficiency of transformation of oncogenic mutants rather than the density of mutant clones.
Project description:How somatic mutations accumulate in normal cells is central to understanding cancer development but is poorly understood. We performed ultradeep sequencing of 74 cancer genes in small (0.8 to 4.7 square millimeters) biopsies of normal skin. Across 234 biopsies of sun-exposed eyelid epidermis from four individuals, the burden of somatic mutations averaged two to six mutations per megabase per cell, similar to that seen in many cancers, and exhibited characteristic signatures of exposure to ultraviolet light. Remarkably, multiple cancer genes are under strong positive selection even in physiologically normal skin, including most of the key drivers of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. Positively selected mutations were found in 18 to 32% of normal skin cells at a density of ~140 driver mutations per square centimeter. We observed variability in the driver landscape among individuals and variability in the sizes of clonal expansions across genes. Thus, aged sun-exposed skin is a patchwork of thousands of evolving clones with over a quarter of cells carrying cancer-causing mutations while maintaining the physiological functions of epidermis.
Project description:Deep sequencing can detect somatic DNA mutations in tissues permitting inference of clonal relationships. This has been applied to human epidermis, where sun exposure leads to the accumulation of mutations and an increased risk of skin cancer. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting conclusions about the relative importance of positive selection and neutral drift in clonal evolution. Here, we sequenced larger areas of skin than previously, focusing on cancer-prone skin spanning five decades of life. The mutant clones identified were too large to be accounted for solely by neutral drift. Rather, using mathematical modelling and computational lattice-based simulations, we show that observed clone size distributions can be explained by a combination of neutral drift and stochastic nucleation of mutations at the boundary of expanding mutant clones that have a competitive advantage. These findings demonstrate that spatial context and cell competition cooperate to determine the fate of a mutant stem cell.
Project description:The core promoter mutants of hepatitis B virus (HBV) emerge as the dominant viral population at the late HBeAg and the anti-HBe stages of HBV infection, with the A1762T/G1764A substitutions as the hotspot mutations. The double core promoter mutations were found by many investigators to moderately enhance viral genome replication and reduce hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) expression. A much higher replication capacity was reported for a naturally occurring core promoter mutant implicated in the outbreak of fulminant hepatitis, which was caused by the neighboring C1766T/T1768A mutations instead. To systemically study the biological properties of naturally occurring core promoter mutants, we amplified full-length HBV genomes by PCR from sera of HBeAg(+) individuals infected with genotype A. All 12 HBV genomes derived from highly viremic sera (5 x 10(9) to 5.7 x 10(9) copies of viral genome/ml) harbored wild-type core promoter sequence, whereas 37 of 43 clones from low-viremia samples (0.2 x 10(7) to 4.6 x 10(7) copies/ml) were core promoter mutants. Of the 11 wild-type genomes and 14 core promoter mutants analyzed by transfection experiments in human hepatoma cell lines, 6 core promoter mutants but none of the wild-type genomes replicated at high levels. All had 1762/1764 mutations and an additional substitution at position 1753 (T to C), at position 1766 (C to T), or both. Moreover, these HBV clones varied greatly in their ability to secrete enveloped viral particles irrespective of the presence of core promoter mutations. High-replication clones with 1762/1764/1766 or 1753/1762/1764/1766 mutations expressed very low levels of HBeAg, whereas high-replication clones with 1753/1762/1764 triple mutations expressed high levels of HBeAg. Experiments with site-directed mutants revealed that both 1762/1764/1766 and 1753/1762/1764/1766 mutations conferred significantly higher viral replication and lower HBeAg expression than 1762/1764 mutations alone, whereas the 1753/1762/1764 triple mutant displayed only mild reduction in HBeAg expression similar to the 1762/1764 mutant. Thus, core promoter mutations other than those at positions 1762 and 1764 can have major impact on viral DNA replication and HBeAg expression.
Project description:Cytoskeletal and focal adhesion abnormalities are observed in several types of cancer, including lung cancer. We have previously reported that paxillin (PXN) was mutated, amplified, and overexpressed in a significant number of lung cancer patient samples, that PXN protein was upregulated in more advanced stages of lung cancer compared with lower stages, and that the PXN gene was also amplified in some pre-neoplastic lung lesions. Among the mutations investigated, we previously found that PXN variant A127T in lung cancer cells enhanced cell proliferation and focal adhesion formation and colocalized with the anti-apoptotic protein B Cell Lymphoma 2 (BCL-2), which is known to localize to the mitochondria, among other sites. To further explore the effects of activating mutations of PXN on mitochondrial function, we cloned and expressed wild-type PXN and variants containing the most commonly occurring PXN mutations (P46S, P52L, G105D, A127T, P233L, T255I, D399N, E423K, P487L, and K506R) in a GFP-tagged vector using HEK-293 human embryonic kidney cells. Utilizing live-cell imaging to systematically study the effects of wild-type PXN vs. mutants, we created a model that recapitulates the salient features of the measured dynamics and conclude that compared with wild-type, some mutant clones confer enhanced focal adhesion and lamellipodia formation (A127T, P233L, and P487L) and some confer increased association with BCL-2, Dynamin-related Protein-1 (DRP-1), and Mitofusion-2 (MFN-2) proteins (P233L and D399N). Further, PXN mutants, through their interactions with BCL-2 and DRP-1, could regulate cisplatin drug resistance in human lung cancer cells. The data reported herein suggest that mutant PXN variants play a prominent role in mitochondrial dynamics with direct implications on lung cancer progression and hence, deserve further exploration as therapeutic targets.
Project description:Ultraviolet (UV) light-induced mutations are unevenly distributed across skin cancer genomes, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity are not fully understood. Here, we assessed how nucleosome structure impacts the positions of UV-induced mutations in human melanomas. Analysis of mutation positions from cutaneous melanomas within strongly positioned nucleosomes revealed a striking ~10 base pair (bp) oscillation in mutation density with peaks occurring at dinucleotides facing away from the histone octamer. Additionally, higher mutation density at the nucleosome dyad generated an overarching "translational curvature" across the 147 bp of DNA that constitutes the nucleosome core particle. This periodicity and curvature cannot be explained by sequence biases in nucleosomal DNA. Instead, our genome-wide map of UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) indicates that CPD formation is elevated at outward facing dinucleotides, mirroring the oscillation of mutation density within nucleosome-bound DNA. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) activity, as measured by XR-seq, inversely correlated with the curvature of mutation density associated with the translational setting of the nucleosome. While the 10 bp periodicity of mutations is maintained across nucleosomes regardless of chromatin state, histone modifications, and transcription levels, overall mutation density and curvature across the core particle increased with lower transcription levels. Our observations suggest structural conformations of DNA promote CPD formation at specific sites within nucleosomes, and steric hindrance progressively limits lesion repair towards the nucleosome dyad. Both mechanisms create a unique extended mutation signature within strongly positioned nucleosomes across the human genome.
Project description:Bands of colour extending laterally from the dorsal to ventral trunk are a common feature of mouse chimeras. These stripes were originally taken as evidence of the directed dorsoventral migration of melanoblasts (the embryonic precursors of melanocytes) as they colonize the developing skin. Depigmented 'belly spots' in mice with mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinase Kit are thought to represent a failure of this colonization, either due to impaired migration or proliferation. Tracing of single melanoblast clones, however, has revealed a diffuse distribution with high levels of axial mixing--hard to reconcile with directed migration. Here we construct an agent-based stochastic model calibrated by experimental measurements to investigate the formation of diffuse clones, chimeric stripes and belly spots. Our observations indicate that melanoblast colonization likely proceeds through a process of undirected migration, proliferation and tissue expansion, and that reduced proliferation is the cause of the belly spots in Kit mutants.
Project description:Recent cancer research has investigated the possibility that non-cell-autonomous (NCA) driving tumor growth can support clonal diversity (CD). Indeed, mutations can affect the phenotypes not only of their carriers ("cell-autonomous", CA effects), but also sometimes of other cells (NCA effects). However, models that have investigated this phenomenon have only considered a restricted number of clones. Here, we designed an individual-based model of tumor evolution, where clones grow and mutate to yield new clones, among which a given frequency have NCA effects on other clones' growth. Unlike previously observed for smaller assemblages, most of our simulations yield lower CD with high frequency of mutations with NCA effects. Owing to NCA effects increasing competition in the tumor, clones being already dominant are more likely to stay dominant, and emergent clones not to thrive. These results may help personalized medicine to predict intratumor heterogeneity across different cancer types for which frequency of NCA effects could be quantified.
Project description:How somatic mutations accumulate in normal cells is poorly understood. A comprehensive analysis of RNA sequencing data from ~6700 samples across 29 normal tissues revealed multiple somatic variants, demonstrating that macroscopic clones can be found in many normal tissues. We found that sun-exposed skin, esophagus, and lung have a higher mutation burden than other tested tissues, which suggests that environmental factors can promote somatic mosaicism. Mutation burden was associated with both age and tissue-specific cell proliferation rate, highlighting that mutations accumulate over both time and number of cell divisions. Finally, normal tissues were found to harbor mutations in known cancer genes and hotspots. This study provides a broad view of macroscopic clonal expansion in human tissues, thus serving as a foundation for associating clonal expansion with environmental factors, aging, and risk of disease.
Project description:A total of 21 clones of acyclovir (ACV)-resistant (ACV(r)) herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and 23 clones of penciclovir (PCV)-resistant (PCV(r)) HSV-1, emerging during serial passages in the presence of ACV or PCV, were isolated under conditions excluding contamination of resistant mutants in the starting virus culture, and their mutations in the thymidine kinase (TK) and DNA polymerase (DNA Pol) genes were analyzed comparatively. Mutations in the TK genes from ACV(r) mutants consisted of 50% single nucleotide substitutions and 50% frameshift mutations, while the corresponding figures for the PCV(r) mutants were 4 and 96%, respectively (P < 0.001). Eight of the 21 ACV(r) clones, but none of the 23 PCV(r) clones, had mutations in DNA Pol. Only nucleotide substitution(s) could be detected in the DNA Pol gene, as the gene is essential for virus replication. Therefore, the results for the DNA Pol mutants are concordant with those for the TK mutants in that a single nucleotide substitution was commonly observed in the ACV(r), but not in the PCV(r), mutants. These results clearly point to differential mutation patterns between ACV(r) and PCV(r) HSV-1 clones.
Project description:We describe a screen for cellular response to drugs that makes use of haploid embryonic stem cells. We generated ten libraries of mutants with piggyBac gene trap transposon integrations, totalling approximately 100,000 mutant clones. Random barcode sequences were inserted into the transposon vector to allow the number of cells bearing each insertion to be measured by amplifying and sequencing the barcodes. These barcodes were associated with their integration sites by inverse PCR. We exposed these libraries to commonly used cancer drugs and profiled changes in barcode abundance by Ion Torrent sequencing in order to identify mutations that conferred sensitivity. Drugs tested included conventional chemotherapeutics as well as targeted inhibitors of topoisomerases, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), Hsp90 and WEE1.