JOURNAL ARTICLE

Network-based approaches elucidate differences within APOBEC and clock-like signatures in breast cancer

Yoo-Ah Kim, Damian Wojtowicz, Rebecca Sarto Basso, Itay Sason, Welles Robinson, Dorit S Hochbaum, Mark D M Leiserson, Roded Sharan, Fabio Vadin, Teresa M Przytycka
Genome Medicine 2020 May 29, 12 (1): 52
32471470

BACKGROUND: Studies of cancer mutations have typically focused on identifying cancer driving mutations that confer growth advantage to cancer cells. However, cancer genomes accumulate a large number of passenger somatic mutations resulting from various endogenous and exogenous causes, including normal DNA damage and repair processes or cancer-related aberrations of DNA maintenance machinery as well as mutations triggered by carcinogenic exposures. Different mutagenic processes often produce characteristic mutational patterns called mutational signatures. Identifying mutagenic processes underlying mutational signatures shaping a cancer genome is an important step towards understanding tumorigenesis.

METHODS: To investigate the genetic aberrations associated with mutational signatures, we took a network-based approach considering mutational signatures as cancer phenotypes. Specifically, our analysis aims to answer the following two complementary questions: (i) what are functional pathways whose gene expression activities correlate with the strengths of mutational signatures, and (ii) are there pathways whose genetic alterations might have led to specific mutational signatures? To identify mutated pathways, we adopted a recently developed optimization method based on integer linear programming.

RESULTS: Analyzing a breast cancer dataset, we identified pathways associated with mutational signatures on both expression and mutation levels. Our analysis captured important differences in the etiology of the APOBEC-related signatures and the two clock-like signatures. In particular, it revealed that clustered and dispersed APOBEC mutations may be caused by different mutagenic processes. In addition, our analysis elucidated differences between two age-related signatures-one of the signatures is correlated with the expression of cell cycle genes while the other has no such correlation but shows patterns consistent with the exposure to environmental/external processes.

CONCLUSIONS: This work investigated, for the first time, a network-level association of mutational signatures and dysregulated pathways. The identified pathways and subnetworks provide novel insights into mutagenic processes that the cancer genomes might have undergone and important clues for developing personalized drug therapies.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
32471470
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"