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Competitive selection of somatic mutant clones in normal human skin varies with body site
|EGAD00001006194||HiSeq X Ten,Illumina HiSeq 2500,Illumina NovaSeq 6000||805|
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. 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.