The mutational spectrum of FOXA2 in endometrioid endometrial cancer points to a tumor suppressor role

B. Smith, R. Neff, D. E. Cohn, F. J. Backes, A. A. Suarez, D. G. Mutch, C. M. Rush, C. J. Walker, P. J. Goodfellow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Forkhead box protein A2 (FOXA2) plays an important in development, cellular metabolism and tumorigenesis. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) identified a modest frequency of FOXA2 mutations in endometrioid endometrial cancers (EEC). The current study sought to determine the relationship between FOXA2 mutation and clinicopathologic features in EEC and FOXA2 expression. Methods Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing were used to identify mutations in 542 EEC. Western blot, quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to assess expression. Methylation analysis was performed using combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA) and sequencing. Chi-squared, Fisher's exact, Student's t- and log-rank tests were performed. Results Fifty-one mutations were identified in 49 tumors (9.4% mutation rate). The majority of mutations were novel, loss of function (LOF) (78.4%) mutations, and most disrupted the DNA-binding domain (58.8%). Six recurrent mutations were identified. Only two tumors had two mutations and there was no evidence for FOXA2 allelic loss. Mutation status was associated with tumor grade and not associated with survival outcomes. Methylation of the FOXA2 promoter region was highly variable. Most tumors expressed FOXA2 at both the mRNA and protein level. In those tumors with mutations, the majority of cases expressed both alleles. Conclusion FOXA2 is frequently mutated in EEC. The pattern of FOXA2 mutations and expression in tumors suggests complex regulation and a haploinsufficient or dominant-negative tumor suppressor function. In vitro studies may shed light on how mutations in FOXA2 affect FOXA2 pioneer and/or transcription factor functions in EEC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-405
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'The mutational spectrum of FOXA2 in endometrioid endometrial cancer points to a tumor suppressor role'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this