Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver malignancy. High-resolution copy number analysis of 125 tumors of which 24 were... Show More
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver malignancy. High-resolution copy number analysis of 125 tumors of which 24 were subjected to whole-exome sequencing identified 135 homozygous deletions and 994 somatic gene mutations with predicted functional consequences. We identified new recurrent alterations in 4 genes (ARID1A, RPS6KA3, NFE2L2 and IRF2) not previously described in HCC. Functional analyses demonstrated tumor suppressor properties for IRF2 whose inactivation, exclusively found in hepatitis B virus related tumors, leads to impaired TP53 function. Alternatively, inactivation of proteins involved in chromatin remodeling was frequent and predominant in alcohol related tumors. Moreover, activation of the oxidative stress metabolism and inactivation of RPS6KA3 were new pathways associated with WNT/beta-catenin activation, thereby suggesting a cooperative effect in tumorigenesis. This study shows the dramatic somatic genetic diversity in HCC, it reveals interactions between oncogene and tumor suppressor gene mutations markedly related to specific risk factors.
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