The repertoire of mutational signatures in human cancer

PCAWG Mutational Signatures Working Group, Boris J Winterhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1678 Scopus citations

Abstract

Somatic mutations in cancer genomes are caused by multiple mutational processes, each of which generates a characteristic mutational signature1. Here, as part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium2 of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we characterized mutational signatures using 84,729,690 somatic mutations from 4,645 whole-genome and 19,184 exome sequences that encompass most types of cancer. We identified 49 single-base-substitution, 11 doublet-base-substitution, 4 clustered-base-substitution and 17 small insertion-and-deletion signatures. The substantial size of our dataset, compared with previous analyses3-15, enabled the discovery of new signatures, the separation of overlapping signatures and the decomposition of signatures into components that may represent associated-but distinct-DNA damage, repair and/or replication mechanisms. By estimating the contribution of each signature to the mutational catalogues of individual cancer genomes, we revealed associations of signatures to exogenous or endogenous exposures, as well as to defective DNA-maintenance processes. However, many signatures are of unknown cause. This analysis provides a systematic perspective on the repertoire of mutational processes that contribute to the development of human cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalNature
Volume578
Issue number7793
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Age Factors
  • Base Sequence
  • Exome/genetics
  • Genome, Human/genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation/genetics
  • Neoplasms/genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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