HPV+ oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas from patients with two tumors display synchrony of viral genomes yet discordant mutational profiles and signatures

Daniel L. Faden, Adam Langenbucher, Krystle Kuhs, James S. Lewis, Lisa Mirabello, Meredith Yeager, Joseph F. Boland, Sara Bass, Mia Steinberg, Michael Cullen, Michael S. Lawrence, Robert L. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV) positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HPV + OPSCC) is increasing in prevalence in the USA, as are cases of patients with multiple HPV + OPSCCs (mHPV + OPSCC). mHPV + OPSCCs present a unique opportunity to examine HPV + OPSCC mutation acquisition and evolution. We performed sequencing of the viral genome, somatic exome and somatic transcriptome from 8 patients each with 2 spatially distinct HPV + OPSCCs, and 37 'traditional' HPV + OPSCCs to first address if paired tumors are caused by the same viral isolate and next, if acquired alterations, and the underlying processes driving mutagenesis, are shared within pairs. All tumor pairs contained viral genomes from the same HPV type 16 sublineage and differed by 0-2 clonal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), suggesting infection with the same viral isolate. Despite this, there was significant discordance in expression profiles, mutational burden and mutational profiles between tumors in a pair, with only two pairs sharing any overlapping mutations (3/3343 variants). Within tumor pairs there was a striking discrepancy of mutational signatures, exemplified by no paired tumors sharing high APOBEC mutational burden. Here, leveraging mHPV + OPSCCs as a model system to study mutation acquisition in virally mediated tumors, in which the germline, environmental exposures, immune surveillance and tissue/organ type were internally controlled, we demonstrate that despite infection by the same viral isolate, paired mHPV + OPSCCs develop drastically different somatic alterations and even more strikingly, appear to be driven by disparate underlying mutational processes. Thus, despite a common starting point, HPV + OPSCCs evolve through variable mutational processes with resultant stochastic mutational profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalCarcinogenesis
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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