Rearrangement-mediated Cis-regulatory Alterations in Advanced Patient Tumors Reveal Interactions With Therapy

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Yiqun Zhang, Fengju Chen, Erin Pleasance, Laura Williamson, Cameron J. Grisdale, Emma Titmuss, Janessa Laskin, Steven J. M. Jones, Isidro Cortes-Ciriano6, Marco A. Marra, Chad J. Creighton
Rearrangement-mediated cis-regulatory alterations in advanced patient tumors reveal interactions with therapy


The global impact of somatic structural variants (SVs) on gene regulation in advanced tumors with complex treatment histories has been mostly uncharacterized. Here, using whole-genome and RNA sequencing from 570 recurrent or metastatic tumors, we report the altered expression of hundreds of genes in association with nearby SV breakpoints, including oncogenes and G-protein-coupled receptor-related genes such as PLEKHG2. A significant fraction of genes with SV-expression associations correlate with worse patient survival in primary and advanced cancers, including SRD5A1. In many instances, SV-expression associations involve retrotransposons being translocated near genes. High overall SV burden is associated with treatment with DNA alkylating agents or taxanes and altered expression of metabolism-associated genes. SV-expression associations within tumors from topoisomerase I inhibitor-treated patients include chromatin-related genes. Within anthracycline-treated tumors, SV breakpoints near chromosome 1p genes include PDE4B. Patient treatment and history can help understand the widespread SV-mediated cis-regulatory alterations found in cancer.