Divergent genomic and epigenomic landscapes of lung cancer subtypes underscore the selection of different oncogenic pathways during tumor development

William W. Lockwood, Ian M. Wilson, Bradley P. Coe, Raj Chari, Larissa A. Pikor, Kelsie L. Thu, Luisa M. Solis, Maria I. Nunez, Carmen Behrens, John Yee, John English, Nevin Murray, Ming Sound Tsao, John D. Minna, Adi F. Gazdar, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Calum E. MacAulay, Stephen Lam, Wan L. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

For therapeutic purposes, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has traditionally been regarded as a single disease. However, recent evidence suggest that the two major subtypes of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) respond differently to both molecular targeted and new generation chemotherapies. Therefore, identifying the molecular differences between these tumor types may impact novel treatment strategy. We performed the first large-scale analysis of 261 primary NSCLC tumors (169 AC and 92 SqCC), integrating genome-wide DNA copy number, methylation and gene expression profiles to identify subtype-specific molecular alterations relevant to new agent design and choice of therapy. Comparison of AC and SqCC genomic and epigenomic landscapes revealed 778 altered genes with corresponding expression changes that are selected during tumor development in a subtype-specific manner. Analysis of >200 additional NSCLCs confirmed that these genes are responsible for driving the differential development and resulting phenotypes of AC and SqCC. Importantly, we identified key oncogenic pathways disrupted in each subtype that likely serve as the basis for their differential tumor biology and clinical outcomes. Downregulation of HNF4α target genes was the most common pathway specific to AC, while SqCC demonstrated disruption of numerous histone modifying enzymes as well as the transcription factor E2F1. In silico screening of candidate therapeutic compounds using subtype-specific pathway components identified HDAC and PI3K inhibitors as potential treatments tailored to lung SqCC. Together, our findings suggest that AC and SqCC develop through distinct pathogenetic pathways that have significant implication in our approach to the clinical management of NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere37775
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Lockwood, W. W., Wilson, I. M., Coe, B. P., Chari, R., Pikor, L. A., Thu, K. L., Solis, L. M., Nunez, M. I., Behrens, C., Yee, J., English, J., Murray, N., Tsao, M. S., Minna, J. D., Gazdar, A. F., Wistuba, I. I., MacAulay, C. E., Lam, S., & Lam, W. L. (2012). Divergent genomic and epigenomic landscapes of lung cancer subtypes underscore the selection of different oncogenic pathways during tumor development. PloS one, 7(5), [e37775]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037775