Somatic mutation profiles of clear cell endometrial tumors revealed by whole exome and targeted gene sequencing

NISC Comparative Sequencing Program

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The molecular pathogenesis of clear cell endometrial cancer (CCEC), a tumor type with a relatively unfavorable prognosis, is not well defined. We searched exome-wide for novel somatically mutated genes in CCEC and assessed the mutational spectrum of known and candidate driver genes in a large cohort of cases. METHODS: We conducted whole exome sequencing of paired tumor-normal DNAs from 16 cases of CCEC (12 CCECs and the CCEC components of 4 mixed histology tumors). Twenty-two genes-of-interest were Sanger-sequenced from another 47 cases of CCEC. Microsatellite instability (MSI) and microsatellite stability (MSS) were determined by genotyping 5 mononucleotide repeats. Results: Two tumor exomes had relatively high mutational loads and MSI. The other 14 tumor exomes were MSS and had 236 validated nonsynonymous or splice junction somatic mutations among 222 protein-encoding genes. Among the 63 cases of CCEC in this study, we identified frequent somatic mutations in TP53 (39.7%), PIK3CA (23.8%), PIK3R1 (15.9%), ARID1A (15.9%), PPP2R1A (15.9%), SPOP (14.3%), and TAF1 (9.5%), as well as MSI (11.3%). Five of 8 mutations in TAF1, a gene with no known role in CCEC, localized to the putative histone acetyltransferase domain and included 2 recurrently mutated residues. Based on patterns of MSI and mutations in 7 genes, CCEC subsets molecularly resembled serous endometrial cancer (SEC) or endometrioid endometrial cancer (EEC). CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate molecular similarities between CCEC and SEC and EEC and implicate TAF1 as a novel candidate CCEC driver gene. Cancer 2017;123:3261-8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3261-3268
Number of pages8
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • adenocarcinoma
  • clear cell
  • endometrial cancer
  • endometrial carcinoma
  • exome
  • mutation
  • uterine cancer


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