One of the most common karyotypic abnormalities identified in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is monosomy 7 (del7) or deletion of the long arm of chromosome 7 (del7q). The presence of del7/del7q carries a poor prognosis in MDS, MDS/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML); the impact of these defects appears similar. Recently, a copy-neutral type of loss of heterozygozity (LOH also referred to as a somatic UPD) has been identified on 7q. Microdeletion on 7q corresponding to the EZH2 locus led to identification of inactivating mutations in this gene, though hemizygous EZH2 mutations are only rarely found and do not fully explain del7/7q pathogenesis. We performed a comprehensive analysis of myeloid neoplasms (N=189), using next generation whole exome sequencing technology, including MDS (N=34), MDS/MPN (N=26) or MPN (N=4) and 124 with AML (both primary and secondary). Among them, LOH7, involving del7/del7q were observed in 17% of cases (N=33). To minimize false positives and focus on the most prevalent/relevant somatic events, we implemented a rational bioanalyitic filtering approach, whereby paired DNA (tumor/CD3 lymphocyte) were sequenced and results aligned using Burrows-Wheeler Aligner and variants detected using GATK pipeline (Best Practice Variant Detection from Broad Institute). We focused on searching for del7/7q linked somatic mutational events involved comparisons of mutations in the area of del7q to cases diploid for this locus. We hypothesized that there may be heterozygous mutations of 7q, which could lead to functional haploinsufficiency that is also a result of del7q (haploinsuffcient theory, heterozygous mutations). Conversely, mutations may be either unique to del7q hemizygous inactivation, or shared between 7q diploid and haploid cases.
In total, we found alterations in 12 genes located on chromosome 7 (6% of all alterations found). Using filtering strategies we narrowed the focus to “tier 1” mutations to avoid false positives; 11 mutated genes were found in cases with del7/7q and 2 in UPD7q. For example, novel hemzygous (but not heterozygous mutations) of an E3 ubiquitin ligase CUL1 gene were detected only in cases with del7/7q, suggesting that the wild type allele is protective. In cases with diploid 7q, 24 heterozygous alterations were observed (10 genes shared with del7/7q). The previously described EZH2 mutations were seen in heterozygous, homozygous and hemizygous configurations, but were most common in UPD7q (100%), while only 7% of del7/7q cases were positive. Notably, 5/12 mutant genes were located in commonly deleted regions (CDRs) either 7q22, 7q34 or 7q35–36. These CDRs also contain recurrently mutated lesions, including 7q22 (CUX1:n=4; STAG3:n=2), 7q34 (a splicing factor; LUC7L2: n=3) and 7q35–36 (EZH2: n=10). When we investigated the association between haploinsufficiency and heterozygous mutations, among those on del7/7q, cases with wild type forms of corresponding genes showed decreased expression. Similarly, such mutations were occasionally present in diploid configuration; here again the wild type cases showed a decreased expression. These findings suggest that mutated genes located in CDRs can be pathogenic due to both haploinsufficiency of WT genes and heterozygous mutations. EZH2 is a good example of such a gene. We also searched accessory genetic events observed on other chromosomes along with del7/7q and UPD7. By SNP-A, there were clear differences among 3 LOH7 groups, in which del7 was more associated with accessory chromosomal defects than cases with UPD7q or del7. Similarly, mutational patterns were specific to each LOH cohort. For example, while well known frequently mutated genes, such as U2AF1, TET2 and TP53, were commonly found in all 3 LOH7 groups, some specific genes, including the CSMD family, were uniquely observed in monosomy 7, not in del7q or UPD7. Similarly, LOH7q was associated with somatic mutations in SETBP1 and RUNX1. In conclusion, we detected several candidate genes that could be associated with del7/7q and UPD7. Some mutations were heterozygous in cases with diploid 7q and correlated with CDRs on del7/7q without mutation. Certain mutations are specifically observed with del7, while others are commonly observed in all categories of LOH7, including EZH2. Moreover, some genes outside of the chromosome 7 were coincidently mutated with LOH7.
Makishima:Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative: Research Funding. Maciejewski:NIH: Research Funding; Aplastic Anemia&MDS International Foundation: Research Funding.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.