Whole transcriptome sequencing reveals recurrent NOTCH1 mutations in mantle cell lymphoma

Robert Kridel, Barbara Meissner, Sanja Rogic, Merrill Boyle, Adele Telenius, Bruce Woolcock, Jay Gunawardana, Christopher Jenkins, Chris Cochrane, Susana Ben-Neriah, King Tan, Ryan D. Morin, Stephen Opat, Laurie H. Sehn, Joseph M. Connors, Marco A. Marra, Andrew P. Weng, Christian Steidl and Randy D. Gascoyne


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is characterized by the hallmark translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) and the resulting overexpression of cyclin D1 (CCND1). Our current knowledge of this disease encompasses frequent secondary cytogenetic aberrations and the recurrent mutation of a handful of genes, such as TP53, ATM, and CCND1. However, these findings insufficiently explain the biologic underpinnings of MCL. Here, we performed whole transcriptome sequencing on a discovery cohort of 18 primary tissue MCL samples and 2 cell lines. We found recurrent mutations in NOTCH1, a finding that we confirmed in an extension cohort of 108 clinical samples and 8 cell lines. In total, 12% of clinical samples and 20% of cell lines harbored somatic NOTCH1 coding sequence mutations that clustered in the PEST domain and predominantly consisted of truncating mutations or small frame-shifting indels. NOTCH1 mutations were associated with poor overall survival (P = .003). Furthermore, we showed that inhibition of the NOTCH pathway reduced proliferation and induced apoptosis in 2 MCL cell lines. In summary, we have identified recurrent NOTCH1 mutations that provide the preclinical rationale for therapeutic inhibition of the NOTCH pathway in a subset of patients with MCL.

  • Submitted November 11, 2011.
  • Accepted December 21, 2011.
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