Dacheng Zhao, Roel G.W. Verhaak

Defining the role of extrachromosomal DNA amplifications in medulloblastoma

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Abstract Circular extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA), a common mechanism of oncogene amplification, has been identified as a major contributor to intratumoral heterogeneity and patient outcomes. In a recent publication in Nature Genetics, Chapman and colleagues further explored the role of ecDNA in the context of medulloblastoma. Using whole-genome sequencing, they found that 18% of the patients carry ecDNA amplification across a 468 medulloblastoma patient cohort. The presence of ecDNA was associated with worse survival. Single-cell fluorescence in-situ hybridization imaging and multiomic sequencing revealed that ecDNA copy number displayed a cell-to-cell variability within the sample, contributing to tumor heterogeneity. Furthermore, through sequencing and CRISPRi experiments, the authors uncovered frequent enhancer rewiring events on ecDNA that drive proliferation.

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