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Signatures of TOP1 transcription-associated mutagenesis in cancer and germline

Reijns, Martin AM; Parry, David A; Williams, Thomas C; Nadeu, Ferran; Hindshaw, Rebecca L; Szwed, Diana O Rios; Nicholson, Michael D; ... Jackson, Andrew P; + view all (2022) Signatures of TOP1 transcription-associated mutagenesis in cancer and germline. Nature , 602 (7898) pp. 623-631. 10.1038/s41586-022-04403-y. Green open access

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Abstract

The mutational landscape is shaped by many processes. Genic regions are vulnerable to mutation but are preferentially protected by transcription-coupled repair1. In microorganisms, transcription has been demonstrated to be mutagenic2,3; however, the impact of transcription-associated mutagenesis remains to be established in higher eukaryotes4. Here we show that ID4—a cancer insertion–deletion (indel) mutation signature of unknown aetiology5 characterized by short (2 to 5 base pair) deletions —is due to a transcription-associated mutagenesis process. We demonstrate that defective ribonucleotide excision repair in mammals is associated with the ID4 signature, with mutations occurring at a TNT sequence motif, implicating topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) activity at sites of genome-embedded ribonucleotides as a mechanistic basis. Such TOP1-mediated deletions occur somatically in cancer, and the ID-TOP1 signature is also found in physiological settings, contributing to genic de novo indel mutations in the germline. Thus, although topoisomerases protect against genome instability by relieving topological stress6, their activity may also be an important source of mutations in the human genome.

Type: Article
Title: Signatures of TOP1 transcription-associated mutagenesis in cancer and germline
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04403-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04403-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Cancer genomics, Genomic instability, Nucleotide excision repair
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Pathology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147020
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