The Mutational Landscape in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Deciphered by Whole Genome Sequencing

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Abstract

Genomic characterization of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has identified distinct patterns of genes and pathways altered in patients with well-defined genetic aberrations. To extend the spectrum of known somatic variants in ALL, we performed whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of three B-cell precursor patients, of which one carried the t(12;21)ETV6-RUNX1translocation and two lacked a known primary genetic aberration, and one T-ALL patient. We found that each patient had a unique genome, with a combination of well-known and previously undetected genomic aberrations. By targeted sequencing in 168 patients, we identifiedKMT2DandKIF1Bas novel putative driver genes. We also identified a putative regulatory non-coding variant that coincided with overexpression of the growth factorMDK. Our results contribute to an increased understanding of the biological mechanisms that lead to ALL and suggest that regulatory variants may be more important for cancer development than recognized to date. The heterogeneity of the genetic aberrations in ALL renders whole genome sequencing particularly well suited for analysis of somatic variants in both research and diagnostic applications.

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