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Identification of the mutational consequences of precancerous liver disease (including alcohol abuse) on the genomes of human adult stem cells.

Stem cells are believed to be the cells-of-origin cancer. Nevertheless, their genome remains remarkably stable during life. To increase insight into how these cells can drive tumorigenesis, we set out to determine the genomic integrity of human adult stem cells from patients with liver disease associated with increased cancer risk. To this end, we characterized genome-wide mutation profiles of single ASCs from livers of patients with alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic liver disease and primary sclerosing cholangitis. The patients included in our study received a liver transplant due to their liver disease. Strikingly, we found that ASCs in these livers maintain a stable genome and have comparable mutation rates as healthy human liver ASCs. We did observe more nonsense and nonsynonymous mutations in COSMIC cancer genes that are hit by dominant mutations in tumors in comparison to healthy ASCs (n.s.), including two ASCs in alcoholic liver disease patients with a nonsense mutation in PTPRK. Next, we sequenced 5 biopsies of an alcoholic tumour to identify the mutational patterns in the tumour-initiating ASC. We found that the mutational patterns are, again, similar to healthy liver, but the mutational load is slightly higher. This suggests that the increased cancer risk in the liver disease patients is not caused by an increased mutational load, but rather that the precancerous liver environment promotes outgrowth of cells that would normally be selected against.

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
EGAD00001004105 HiSeq X Ten NextSeq 500 44
Publications Citations
Early divergence of mutational processes in human fetal tissues.
Sci Adv 5: 2019 eaaw1271
Precancerous liver diseases do not cause increased mutagenesis in liver stem cells.
Commun Biol 4: 2021 1301