Identification of novel fusion genes in bone and soft tissue sarcoma and their implication in the generation of a mouse model

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Abstract

Fusion genes induced by chromosomal aberrations are common mutations causally associated with bone and soft tissue sarcomas (BSTS). These fusions are usually disease type-specific, and identification of the fusion genes greatly helps in making precise diagnoses and determining therapeutic directions. However, there are limitations in detecting unknown fusion genes or rare fusion variants when using standard fusion gene detection techniques, such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In the present study, we have identified 19 novel fusion genes using target RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) in 55 cases of round or spindle cell sarcomas in which no fusion genes were detected by RT-PCR. Subsequent analysis using Sanger sequencing confirmed that seven out of 19 novel fusion genes would produce functional fusion proteins. Seven fusion genes detected in this study affect signal transduction and are ideal targets of small molecule inhibitors. YWHAE-NTRK3 expression in mouse embryonic mesenchymal cells (eMCs) induced spindle cell sarcoma, and the tumor was sensitive to the TRK inhibitor LOXO-101 both in vitro and in vivo. The combination of target RNA-seq and generation of an ex vivo mouse model expressing novel fusions provides important information both for sarcoma biology and the appropriate diagnosis of BSTS.

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Teramura, Y., Tanaka, M., Yamazaki, Y., Yamashita, K., Takazawa, Y., Ae, K., … Nakamura, T. (2020). Identification of novel fusion genes in bone and soft tissue sarcoma and their implication in the generation of a mouse model. Cancers, 12(9), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092345

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