Genome-wide mutational consequences of nucleotide excision repair-deficiency through XPC deletion in a human adult stem cell culture
ABSTRACT: Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is one of the main DNA repair pathways that protect cells against genomic damage. Deficiency in this pathway can contribute to the development of cancer and accelerate aging. NER-deficiency is an important determinant for cancer treatment outcome, as NER-deficient tumors are selectively sensitive to cisplatin treatment. While NER-deficiency has been linked to mutational Signature 5, not all NER-deficient tumors are characterized by a high Signature 5 contribution, illustrating the importance to further characterize the mutational consequences of NER-deficiency. Here, we analyzed the mutational profile of a human adult stem cell (organoid) culture that is deficient in NER through XPC deletion by CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing, and subsequent whole-genome sequencing analysis of a clonally derived organoid. We found that XPC deletion results in an increase in base substitution load and specifically induces Signature 8 mutations, a mutational signature with previously unknown etiology. Presence of Signature 8 may, therefore, serve as a novel biomarker for NER-deficient tumors and could improve personalized treatment strategies.
Project description:Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is one of the main DNA repair pathways that protect cells against genomic damage. Disruption of this pathway can contribute to the development of cancer and accelerate aging. Mutational characteristics of NER-deficiency may reveal important diagnostic opportunities, as tumors deficient in NER are more sensitive to certain treatments. Here, we analyzed the genome-wide somatic mutational profiles of adult stem cells (ASCs) from NER-deficient Ercc1 -/? mice. Our results indicate that NER-deficiency increases the base substitution load twofold in liver but not in small intestinal ASCs, which coincides with the tissue-specific aging pathology observed in these mice. Moreover, NER-deficient ASCs of both tissues show an increased contribution of Signature 8 mutations, which is a mutational pattern with unknown etiology that is recurrently observed in various cancer types. The scattered genomic distribution of the base substitutions indicates that deficiency of global-genome NER (GG-NER) underlies the observed mutational consequences. In line with this, we observe increased Signature 8 mutations in a GG-NER-deficient human organoid culture, in which XPC was deleted using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing. Furthermore, genomes of NER-deficient breast tumors show an increased contribution of Signature 8 mutations compared with NER-proficient tumors. Elevated levels of Signature 8 mutations could therefore contribute to a predictor of NER-deficiency based on a patient's mutational profile.
Project description:Tumors with mismatch repair deficiency (MMR-d) are characterized by sequence alterations in microsatellites and can accumulate thousands of mutations. This high mutational burden renders tumors immunogenic and sensitive to programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors. Yet, despite their tumor immunogenicity, patients with MMR-deficient tumors experience highly variable responses, and roughly half are refractory to treatment. We present experimental and clinical evidence showing that the degree of microsatellite instability (MSI) and resultant mutational load, in part, underlies the variable response to PD-1 blockade immunotherapy in MMR-d human and mouse tumors. The extent of response is particularly associated with the accumulation of insertion-deletion (indel) mutational load. This study provides a rationale for the genome-wide characterization of MSI intensity and mutational load to better profile responses to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy across MMR-deficient human cancers.
Project description:Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) encompasses molecularly different subgroups, with a subgroup harboring evidence of defective homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair. Here, within a phase 2 window clinical trial, RIO trial (EudraCT 2014-003319-12), we investigate the activity of PARP inhibitors in 43 patients with untreated TNBC. The primary end point, decreased Ki67, occured in 12% of TNBC. In secondary end point analyses, HR deficiency was identified in 69% of TNBC with the mutational-signature-based HRDetect assay. Cancers with HRDetect mutational signatures of HR deficiency had a functional defect in HR, assessed by impaired RAD51 foci formation on end of treatment biopsy. Following rucaparib treatment there was no association of Ki67 change with HR deficiency. In contrast, early circulating tumor DNA dynamics identified activity of rucaparib, with end of treatment ctDNA levels suppressed by rucaparib in mutation-signature HR-deficient cancers. In ad hoc analysis, rucaparib induced expression of interferon response genes in HR-deficient cancers. The majority of TNBCs have a defect in DNA repair, identifiable by mutational signature analysis, that may be targetable with PARP inhibitors.
Project description:Mutational processes underlie cancer initiation and progression. Signatures of these processes in cancer genomes may explain cancer etiology and could hold diagnostic and prognostic value. We developed a strategy that can be used to explore the origin of cancer-associated mutational signatures. We used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to delete key DNA repair genes in human colon organoids, followed by delayed subcloning and whole-genome sequencing. We found that mutation accumulation in organoids deficient in the mismatch repair gene MLH1 is driven by replication errors and accurately models the mutation profiles observed in mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancers. Application of this strategy to the cancer predisposition gene NTHL1, which encodes a base excision repair protein, revealed a mutational footprint (signature 30) previously observed in a breast cancer cohort. We show that signature 30 can arise from germline NTHL1 mutations.
Project description:Alterations in DNA repair pathways are common in tumors and can result in characteristic mutational signatures; however, a specific mutational signature associated with somatic alterations in the nucleotide- excision repair (NER) pathway has not yet been identified. Here we examine the mutational processes operating in urothelial cancer, a tumor type in which the core NER gene ERCC2 is significantly mutated. Analysis of three independent urothelial tumor cohorts demonstrates a strong association between somatic ERCC2 mutations and the activity of a mutational signature characterized by a broad spectrum of base changes. In addition, we note an association between the activity of this signature and smoking that is independent of ERCC2 mutation status, providing genomic evidence of tobacco-related mutagenesis in urothelial cancer. Together, these analyses identify an NER-related mutational signature and highlight the related roles of DNA damage and subsequent DNA repair in shaping tumor mutational landscape.
Project description:Somatic mutations in human cancers show unevenness in genomic distribution that correlate with aspects of genome structure and function. These mutations are, however, generated by multiple mutational processes operating through the cellular lineage between the fertilized egg and the cancer cell, each composed of specific DNA damage and repair components and leaving its own characteristic mutational signature on the genome. Using somatic mutation catalogues from 560 breast cancer whole-genome sequences, here we show that each of 12 base substitution, 2 insertion/deletion (indel) and 6 rearrangement mutational signatures present in breast tissue, exhibit distinct relationships with genomic features relating to transcription, DNA replication and chromatin organization. This signature-based approach permits visualization of the genomic distribution of mutational processes associated with APOBEC enzymes, mismatch repair deficiency and homologous recombinational repair deficiency, as well as mutational processes of unknown aetiology. Furthermore, it highlights mechanistic insights including a putative replication-dependent mechanism of APOBEC-related mutagenesis.
Project description:We report a case of early-onset pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in a patient harboring biallelic MUTYH germline mutations, whose tumor featured somatic mutational signatures consistent with defective MUTYH-mediated base excision repair and the associated driver KRAS transversion mutation p.Gly12Cys. Analysis of an additional 730 advanced cancer cases (N = 731) was undertaken to determine whether the mutational signatures were also present in tumors from germline MUTYH heterozygote carriers or if instead the signatures were only seen in those with biallelic loss of function. We identified two patients with breast cancer each carrying a pathogenic germline MUTYH variant with a somatic MUTYH copy loss leading to the germline variant being homozygous in the tumor and demonstrating the same somatic signatures. Our results suggest that monoallelic inactivation of MUTYH is not sufficient for C:G>A:T transversion signatures previously linked to MUTYH deficiency to arise (N = 9), but that biallelic complete loss of MUTYH function can cause such signatures to arise even in tumors not classically seen in MUTYH-associated polyposis (N = 3). Although defective MUTYH is not the only determinant of these signatures, MUTYH germline variants may be present in a subset of patients with tumors demonstrating elevated somatic signatures possibly suggestive of MUTYH deficiency (e.g., COSMIC Signature 18, SigProfiler SBS18/SBS36, SignatureAnalyzer SBS18/SBS36).
Project description:Breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1) hereditary breast cancer, a type of cancer with defects in the homology-directed DNA repair pathway, would benefit from the identification of proteins for diagnosis, which might also be of potential use as screening, prognostic, or predictive markers. Sporadic breast cancers with defects in the BRCA1 pathway might also be diagnosed. We employed proteomics based on one-dimensional gel electrophoresis in combination with nano-LC-MS/MS and spectral counting to compare the protein profiles of mammary tumor tissues of genetic mouse models either deficient or proficient in BRCA1. We identified a total of 3,545 proteins, of which 801 were significantly differentially regulated between the BRCA1-deficient and -proficient breast tumors. Pathway and protein complex analysis identified DNA repair and related functions as the major processes associated with the up-regulated proteins in the BRCA1-deficient tumors. In addition, by selecting highly connected nodes, we identified a BRCA1 deficiency signature of 45 proteins that enriches for homology-directed DNA repair deficiency in human gene expression breast cancer data sets. This signature also exhibits prognostic power across multiple data sets, with optimal performance in a data set enriched in tumors deficient in homology-directed DNA repair. In conclusion, by comparing mouse proteomes from BRCA1-proficient and -deficient mammary tumors, we were able to identify several markers associated with BRCA1 deficiency and a prognostic signature for human breast cancer deficient in homology-directed DNA repair.
Project description:Throughout their lifetime, cells are subject to extrinsic and intrinsic mutational processes leaving behind characteristic signatures in the genome. DNA mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency leads to hypermutation and is found in different cancer types. Although it is possible to associate mutational signatures extracted from human cancers with possible mutational processes, the exact causation is often unknown. Here, we use C. elegans genome sequencing of pms-2 and mlh-1 knockouts to reveal the mutational patterns linked to C. elegans MMR deficiency and their dependency on endogenous replication errors and errors caused by deletion of the polymerase ε subunit pole-4 Signature extraction from 215 human colorectal and 289 gastric adenocarcinomas revealed three MMR-associated signatures, one of which closely resembles the C. elegans MMR spectrum and strongly discriminates microsatellite stable and unstable tumors (AUC = 98%). A characteristic difference between human and C. elegans MMR deficiency is the lack of elevated levels of NCG > NTG mutations in C. elegans, likely caused by the absence of cytosine (CpG) methylation in worms. The other two human MMR signatures may reflect the interaction between MMR deficiency and other mutagenic processes, but their exact cause remains unknown. In summary, combining information from genetically defined models and cancer samples allows for better aligning mutational signatures to causal mutagenic processes.
Project description:Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment. Immune-checkpoint inhibitors, on balance, showed a favorable efficacy/toxicity profile with durable response in different cancer types. No predictive biomarker has been validated thus far to select patients who would benefit from therapy. Among the candidate predictive biomarkers, mismatch repair status of the tumor is currently one of the most promising. Indeed, tumors displaying mismatch repair deficiency or microsatellite instability showed remarkable response to immunotherapy in clinical trials. This correlation has been first reported in colorectal cancers, but similar results have been observed also in other cancer types. The possible mechanism behind this correlation may be the higher mutational load observed in mismatch repair deficient tumors, leading to neoantigens formation, recruitment of immune cells, and release of proinflammatory factors in the microenvironment. These results support an approach to treatment based on assessment of the genomic stability of the tumor besides its biologic characteristics and may change our therapeutic decision making process. However, due to the small percentage of patients with tumors displaying mismatch repair deficiency, data from clinical trials should not be considered definitive and need further confirmation.