Studies on germline variants responsible for cancer predisposition provide an important clue to the understanding of genetic basis of cancer and also help better prediction and management of relevant cancers. As for myeloid neoplasms, only a handful of genes, including RUNX1, CEBPA, GATA2, ETV6, and ANKRD26, have been implicated in early onset familial acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), although they are rarely seen in sporadic cases. Recently, using whole exome sequencing of familial AML/MDS, we have reported novel AML/MDS predisposing gene, DDX41, an encoding dead-box helicase gene. Conspicuously, the onset of AML/MDS was over 60 in most of the affected cases, raising a possibility that the genetic predisposition might be obscured and many cases could be diagnosed with sporadic AML/MDS. In this study, we investigated germline DDX41 mutations in sporadic cases with AML/MDS and the incidence and mutation types were compared between Asian and Western patients.
Patients and Methods:
We performed targeted sequencing of DDX41 in patients from Asian (N = 239) cohort of AML/MDS, where the origin of the detected variations was determined by using matched germline DNA. The result was compared to those obtained from the Western cohort (N = 1,034) in terms of frequency and type of mutation. The effect size of the mutations was estimated by calculating odds ratios of each variant for AML/MDS development using the data for DDX41 variants in Asian and Western population from the ExAC (Exome Aggregation Consortium) database (http://exac.broadinstitute.org) as controls.
Germline and somatic DDX41 mutations were found in 12 (5.0%) and 10 (4.7%) of sporadic cases with AML/MDS from the Asian cohort, as compared to 8 (0.8%) and 10 (1.0%) from the Western cohort. All the patients with germline variants were aged over 40 year-old with a median of 68.5, confirming the late onset of the disease also in the sporadic cases with germline variants. Eight of the 12 germline variants (67%) in the Asian cohort were accompanied by an additional somatic mutation, as compared to 2 of the 8 (25%) in the Western cohort. Biallelic involvement was demonstrated in selected cases (N = 2). In total, 8 and 3 germline variants were observed in the Asian and the Western cohorts, respectively, without no common variants between both cohorts, of which the predominant variants included p.A500fs (n=5; 42%) and p.E7X (n=2; 17%) in the Asian cohort and p.F140fs (n=6; 75%) in Western cohort. In contrast, a prominent hotspot mutation involving a highly conserved amino-acid within the helicase domain (p.R525H) was commonly observed in both cohorts, accounting for 55% of all the somatic mutations. These germline variants as a whole showed significant enrichment in AML/MDS cases compared to the respective control population (OR>171, 95% confidence interval (CI): 51-730 for the Asian variants and more than 21.7, 95%CI: 8.4-50 for the Western variants), although the enrichment of individual variants showed substantial variations, suggesting different effect size among these variants: the odds ratio was 19.5 (p<0.001) for p.F140fs, and 92.4 (p<0.001) for p.A500fs. p.E7X was detected in 2 out of 239 cases with MDS/AML, whereas not in the control Asian population.
We demonstrated frequent germline variants of DDX41 among sporadic cases with AML/MDS from different ethnic populations. Having common ancestral origins in different ethnic populations, these alleles are found in the general population at very low frequencies (<1 in 4000), accounting for the largest congenital risk for the development of sporadic AML/MDS therein (3-5% of all sporadic AML/MDS). The onset was typically over 40 years of age and frequently accompanied by an additional somatic mutation most likely in the unaffected allele, showing a prominent hotspot at p.R525. The germline variants seem to be dominant and caused premature truncation of the protein, leading to loss-of-function in most cases, whereas somatic mutations were typically missense variants not totally abrogating protein function, suggesting the importance of less than haploinsufficiency but more than null function for leukemogenesis. At the meeting, an extended result from more than 1000 Asian cases will be presented.
Kiyoi:Kyowa-Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pfizer Inc.: Research Funding; Novartis Pharma K.k.: Research Funding; Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Taisho Toyama Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Eisai Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Zenyaku Kogyo Company, Ltd.: Research Funding; FUJIFILM RI Pharma Co.,Ltd.: Patents & Royalties, Research Funding; Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., LTD.: Research Funding; Fujifilm Corporation.: Patents & Royalties, Research Funding; Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb.: Research Funding; Alexion Pharmaceuticals.: Research Funding; Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Astellas Pharma Inc.: Consultancy, Research Funding; Teijin Ltd.: Research Funding; Japan Blood Products Organization.: Research Funding; Nippon Shinyaku Co.,Ltd.: Research Funding; MSD K.K.: Research Funding. Miyazaki:Shin-bio: Honoraria; Sumitomo Dainippon: Honoraria; Chugai: Honoraria, Research Funding; Celgene Japan: Honoraria; Kyowa-Kirin: Honoraria, Research Funding. Naoe:Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.: Patents & Royalties, Research Funding; Celgene K.K.: Research Funding; FUJIFILM Corporation: Patents & Royalties, Research Funding; Astellas Pharma Inc.: Research Funding; Toyama Chemical CO., LTD.: Research Funding; Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.: Research Funding; Pfizer Inc.: Research Funding; Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.: Patents & Royalties. Usuki:Boehringer Ingelheim: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Shionogi: Other: personal fees; Fujimoto Pharmaceutical: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceutical: Research Funding; SymBio Pharmaceutical: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Eisai: Research Funding; Otsuka Pharmaceutical: Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Shire: Research Funding; Nippon Shinyaku: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Novartis: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Sanofi: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; MSD: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Celgene: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Taiho Pharmaceutical: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Fuji Film RI Pharma: Other: personal fees; Chugai Pharmaceutical: Other: personal fees; GlaxoSmithKline: Other: personal fees, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Other; Astellas: Research Funding. Miyawaki:Astellas Pharma Inc.: Consultancy, Other: personal fees; Ohtsuka Pharma Co, LTD.: Other: Safety Data Committee.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.