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Genetic and epigenetic variation at regulatory regions contribute to cancer evolution under endocrine treatment

Comprehensive profiling of hormone-dependent breast cancer (HDBC) has identified hundreds of protein-coding alterations contributing to cancer initiation, but only a handful have been linked to endocrine therapy resistance, potentially contributing to 40% of relapses. If other mechanisms underlie the evolution of HDBC under adjuvant therapy is currently unknown. In this work, we employ integrative functional genomics to dissect the contribution of cis-regulatory elements (CREs) to cancer evolution by focusing on 12 megabases of non-coding DNA, including clonal enhancers, gene promoters, and boundaries of topologically associating domains. Massive parallel perturbation in vitro reveals context-dependent roles for many of these CREs, with a specific impact on dormancy entrance and endocrine therapy resistance9. Profiling of CRE somatic alterations in a unique, longitudinal cohort of patients treated with endocrine therapies identifies non-coding changes involved in therapy resistance. Overall, our data uncover actionable transient transcriptional programs critical for dormant persister cells and unveil new regulatory nodes driving evolutionary trajectories towards disease progression.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001009064 Illumina HiSeq 4000 Illumina NovaSeq 6000 300