Genomic footprints of activated telomere maintenance mechanisms in cancer

Citation:

Sieverling L, Hong C, Koser SD, Ginsbach P, Kleinheinz K, Hutter B, Braun DM, Cortés-Ciriano I, Xi R, Kabbe R, Park PJ, Eils R, Schlesner M, PCAWG Structural Variation Working Group (incl. Lee EA), Brors B, Rippe K, Jones DTW, Feuerbach L, Feuerbach L. Genomic footprints of activated telomere maintenance mechanisms in cancer. Nat Commun 2020;11(1):733.

Date Published:

2020 02 05

Abstract:

Cancers require telomere maintenance mechanisms for unlimited replicative potential. They achieve this through TERT activation or alternative telomere lengthening associated with ATRX or DAXX loss. Here, as part of the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium, we dissect whole-genome sequencing data of over 2500 matched tumor-control samples from 36 different tumor types aggregated within the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium to characterize the genomic footprints of these mechanisms. While the telomere content of tumors with ATRX or DAXX mutations (ATRX/DAXX) is increased, tumors with TERT modifications show a moderate decrease of telomere content. One quarter of all tumor samples contain somatic integrations of telomeric sequences into non-telomeric DNA. This fraction is increased to 80% prevalence in ATRX/DAXX tumors, which carry an aberrant telomere variant repeat (TVR) distribution as another genomic marker. The latter feature includes enrichment or depletion of the previously undescribed singleton TVRs TTCGGG and TTTGGG, respectively. Our systematic analysis provides new insight into the recurrent genomic alterations associated with telomere maintenance mechanisms in cancer.

Last updated on 06/12/2020