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CD74-NRG1 fusions in lung adenocarcinoma

We discovered a novel somatic gene fusion, CD74-NRG1, by transcriptome sequencing of 25 lung adenocarcinomas of never smokers. By screening 102 lung adenocarcinomas negative for known oncogenic alterations we found four additional fusion-positive tumors, all of which were of the invasive mucinous subtype. Mechanistically, CD74-NRG1 leads to extracellular expression of the EGF-like domain of NRG1 III-beta3, thereby providing the ligand for ERBB2-ERBB3 receptor complexes. Accordingly, ERBB2 and ERBB3 expression was high in the index case and expression of phospho-ERBB3 was specifically found in tumors bearing the fusion (p<0.0001). Ectopic expression of CD74-NRG1 in lung cancer cell lines expressing ERBB2 and ERBB3 activated ERBB3 and the PI3K-AKT pathway, and led to increased colony formation in soft agar. Thus, CD74-NRG1 gene fusions are activating genomic alterations in invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas and may offer a therapeutic opportunity for a lung tumor subtype with, so far, no effective treatment.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001000716 Illumina HiSeq 2000 25
EGAD00001000746 Illumina HiSeq 2000 25
Publications Citations
CD74-NRG1 fusions in lung adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Discov 4: 2014 415-422