Distinct genomic alterations in prostate tumors derived from African American men

Wennuan Liu, S. Lilly Zheng, Rong Na, Lin Wei, Jishan Sun, Johnie Gallagher, Jun Wei, W. Kyle Resurreccion, Sarah Ernst, Karen S. Sfanos, William B. Isaacs, Jianfeng Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aim to understand, from acquired genetic alterations in tumors, why African American (AA) men are more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. By analyzing somatic mutations in 39 genes using deeper next-generation sequencing with an average depth of 2,522 reads for tumor DNA and genome-wide DNA copy-number alterations (CNA) in prostate cancer in a total of 171 AA/black men and comparing with those in 860 European American (EA)/white men, we here present several novel findings. First, >35% of AA men harbor damaging mutations in APC, ATM, BRCA2, KDM6A, KMT2C, KMT2D, MED12, ZFHX3, and ZMYM3, each with >1% of mutated copies. Second, among genes with >10% of mutated copies in tumor cells, ZMYM3 is the most frequently mutated gene in AA prostate cancer. In a patient's tumor with >96% frameshift mutations of ZMYM3, we find allelic imbalances in 10 chromosomes, including losses of five and gains of another four chromosomes, suggesting its role in maintaining genomic integrity. Third, when compared to prostate cancer in EA/white men, a higher frequency of CNAs of MYC, THADA, NEIL3, LRP1B, BUB1B, MAP3K7, BNIP3L and RB1, and a lower frequency of deletions of RYBP, TP53, and TMPRSS2-ERG are observed in AA/black men. Finally, for the above genes with higher frequency of CNAs in AA than in EA, deletion of MAP3K7, BNIP3L, NEIL3 or RB1, or gain of MYC significantly associates with both higher Gleason grade and advanced pathologic stage in AA/black men. Deletion of THADA associates with advanced pathologic stage only. Implications: A higher frequency of damaging mutation in ZMYM3 causing genomic instability along with higher frequency of altered genomic regions including deletions of MAP3K7, BNIP3L, RB1, and NEIL3, and gain of MYC appear to be distinct somatically acquired genetic alterations that may contribute to more aggressive prostate cancer in AA/black men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1824
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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