Mismatch repair (MMR) deficient colorectal adenomas are composed of transformed cells that descend from a common founder and progressively... Show More
Mismatch repair (MMR) deficient colorectal adenomas are composed of transformed cells that descend from a common founder and progressively accumulate genomic alterations but their proliferation history is still largely unknown. Here we rebuilt the proliferation history of four MMR deficient colorectal adenomas from male individuals by deep sequencing the X chromosome and mapping the somatic mutations that were progressively acquired during tumor growth. We developed a novel method to call high and low frequency mutations, to cluster them according to their frequencies and rebuild the proliferation trees directly from these mutation clusters using a recursive algorithm. The trees of all four lesions were formed of a dominant subclone that coexisted with other genetically heterogeneous subpopulations of cells. Despite this similar hierarchical organization, however, the growth dynamics varied among and within tumors, likely depending on a combination of tumor-specific genetic and environmental factors. Our study provides insights into the biological properties of individual MMR deficient colorectal adenomas that may influence their growth and also the response to therapy. Extended to other solid tumors, our approach could inform on the mechanisms of cancer progression, thus providing insight into the best choice of cancer treatment methods.
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