Treatment-associated TP53 DNA-binding domain missense mutations in the pathogenesis of secondary gliosarcoma

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Background: Gliosarcoma is a rare variant of glioblastoma (GBM) that exhibits frequent mutations in TP53 and can develop in a secondary fashion after chemoradiation of a primary GBM. Whether temozolomide (TMZ)-induced mutagenesis of the TP53 DNAbinding domain (DBD) can drive the pathogenesis of gliosarcoma is unclear. Methods: We identified a case of a primary GBM that rapidly progressed into secondary gliosarcoma shortly after chemoradiation was initiated. Bulk tumor was collected and gliomasphere cultures derived from both the pre- and post-treatment tumors. We performed targeted DNA sequencing and transcriptome analyses of the specimens to understand their phylogenetic relationship and identify differentially expressed gene pathways. Gliomaspheres from the primary GBM were treated with TMZ and then analyzed to compare patterns of mutagenesis in vivo and ex vivo. Results: The pre- and post-treatment tumors shared EGFR, CDKN2A, and PTEN mutations, but only the secondary gliosarcoma exhibited TP53 DBD missense mutations. Two mutations, R110C, and R175H, were identified, each in distinct clones. Both were base transitions characteristic of TMZ mutagenesis. Gene expression analysis identified increased JAK-STAT signaling in the gliosarcoma, together with reduced expression of microRNAs known to regulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Ex vivo treatment of the GBM spheres with TMZ generated numerous variants in cancer driver genes, including TP53 and CDH1, which were mutated in the post-treatment tumor. Conclusions: TMZ-induced TP53 gain-of-function mutations can have a driving role in secondary gliosarcoma pathogenesis. Analysis of variants identified in ex vivo TMZ-treated gliomaspheres may have utility in predicting GBM evolutionary trajectories in vivo during standard chemoradiation.




Pain, M., Wang, H., Lee, E., Strahl, M., Hamou, W., Sebra, R., … Yong, R. L. (2018). Treatment-associated TP53 DNA-binding domain missense mutations in the pathogenesis of secondary gliosarcoma. Oncotarget, 9(2), 2603–2621.

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