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Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Concurrent alterations in TERT, KDM6A, and the BRCA pathway in bladder cancer.


PMID 25225064

Abstract

Genetic analysis of bladder cancer has revealed a number of frequently altered genes, including frequent alterations of the telomerase (TERT) gene promoter, although few altered genes have been functionally evaluated. Our objective is to characterize alterations observed by exome sequencing and sequencing of the TERT promoter, and to examine the functional relevance of histone lysine (K)-specific demethylase 6A (KDM6A/UTX), a frequently mutated histone demethylase, in bladder cancer. We analyzed bladder cancer samples from 54 U.S. patients by exome and targeted sequencing and confirmed somatic variants using normal tissue from the same patient. We examined the biologic function of KDM6A using in vivo and in vitro assays. We observed frequent somatic alterations in BRCA1 associated protein-1 (BAP1) in 15% of tumors, including deleterious alterations to the deubiquitinase active site and the nuclear localization signal. BAP1 mutations contribute to a high frequency of tumors with breast cancer (BRCA) DNA repair pathway alterations and were significantly associated with papillary histologic features in tumors. BAP1 and KDM6A mutations significantly co-occurred in tumors. Somatic variants altering the TERT promoter were found in 69% of tumors but were not correlated with alterations in other bladder cancer genes. We examined the function of KDM6A, altered in 24% of tumors, and show depletion in human bladder cancer cells, enhanced in vitro proliferation, in vivo tumor growth, and cell migration. This study is the first to identify frequent BAP1 and BRCA pathway alterations in bladder cancer, show TERT promoter alterations are independent of other bladder cancer gene alterations, and show KDM6A loss is a driver of the bladder cancer phenotype.