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Non-coding mutations reveal cancer driver cistromes in luminal breast cancer

Whole-genome sequencing of primary breast tumors enabled the identification of cancer driver genes and non-coding cancer driver plexuses from somatic mutations. However, differentiating between driver and passenger events among non-coding genetic variants remains a challenge to understand the etiology of cancer and inform the delivery of personalized cancer medicine. Herein, we reveal enrichment of non-coding mutations in cis-regulatory elements that cover a subset of transcription factors linked to tumor progression in luminal breast cancers. Using a cohort of 26 primary luminal ER+PR+ breast tumors, we compiled a catalogue of ~100,000 unique cis-regulatory elements from ATAC-seq data. Integrating this catalogue with somatic mutations from 350 publicly available breast tumor whole genomes, we identified four recurrently mutated individual cis-regulatory elements. By then partitioning the non-coding genome into cistromes, defined as the sum of binding sites for a transcription factor, we uncovered cancer driver cistromes for ten transcription factors, namely CTCF, ELF1, ESR1, FOSL2, FOXA1, FOXM1 GATA3, JUND, TFAP2A, and TFAP2C in luminal breast cancer. Nine of these ten transcription factors were shown to be essential for growth in breast cancer, with four exclusive to the luminal subtype. Collectively, we present a strategy to find cancer driver cistromes relying on quantifying the enrichment of non-coding mutations over cis-regulatory elements concatenated into a functional unit drawn from an accessible chromatin catalogue derived from primary cancer tissues.

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
EGAD00001007650 Illumina HiSeq 2000 26
Publications Citations
Mutations in Noncoding <i>Cis</i>-Regulatory Elements Reveal Cancer Driver Cistromes in Luminal Breast Cancer.
Mol Cancer Res 20: 2022 102-113