Chromosomal rearrangements often result in active regulatory regions juxtaposed upstream of an oncogene to generate an expressed gene fusion. Repeated activation of a common downstream partner–with differing upstream regions across a patient cohort–suggests a conserved oncogenic role. Analysis of 9,638 patients across 32 solid tumor types revealed an annotated long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), Breast Cancer Anti-Estrogen Resistance 4 (BCAR4), was the most prevalent, uncharacterized, downstream gene fusion partner occurring in 11 cancers. Its oncogenic role was confirmed using multiple cell lines with endogenous BCAR4 gene fusions. Furthermore, overexpressing clinically prevalent BCAR4 gene fusions in untransformed cell lines was sufficient to induce an oncogenic phenotype. We show that the minimum common region to all gene fusions harbors an open reading frame that is necessary to drive proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1481-1488
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


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