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Nat Med. 2019 Apr;25(4):597-602. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0373-y. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Clinical genome sequencing uncovers potentially targetable truncations and fusions of MAP3K8 in spitzoid and other melanomas.

Author information

1
Department of Computational Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. scott.newman@stjude.org.
2
Department of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.
3
Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
5
Department of Computational Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.
6
Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.
7
Departments of Pathology and Translational Research, Institute Curie, Paris, France.
8
Department of Computational Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. jinghui.zhang@stjude.org.
9
Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. armita.bahrami@stjude.org.
10
Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. armita.bahrami@stjude.org.

Abstract

Spitzoid melanoma is a specific morphologic variant of melanoma that most commonly affects children and adolescents, and ranges on the spectrum of malignancy from low grade to overtly malignant. These tumors are generally driven by fusions of ALK, RET, NTRK1/3, MET, ROS1 and BRAF1,2. However, in approximately 50% of cases no genetic driver has been established2. Clinical whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) of a spitzoid tumor from an adolescent revealed a novel gene fusion of MAP3K8, encoding a serine-threonine kinase that activates MEK3,4. The patient, who had exhausted all other therapeutic options, was treated with a MEK inhibitor and underwent a transient clinical response. We subsequently analyzed spitzoid tumors from 49 patients by RNA-Seq and found in-frame fusions or C-terminal truncations of MAP3K8 in 33% of cases. The fusion transcripts and truncated genes all contained MAP3K8 exons 1-8 but lacked the autoinhibitory final exon. Data mining of RNA-Seq from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) uncovered analogous MAP3K8 rearrangements in 1.5% of adult melanomas. Thus, MAP3K8 rearrangements-uncovered by comprehensive clinical sequencing of a single case-are the most common genetic event in spitzoid melanoma, are present in adult melanomas and could be amenable to MEK inhibition.

PMID:
30833747
DOI:
10.1038/s41591-019-0373-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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