TitleExome sequencing identifies ARID2 as a novel tumor suppressor in early-onset sporadic rectal cancer
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBala P, Singh AK, Kavadipula P, Kotapalli V, Sabarinathan R, Bashyam MD.
Start Page40
Date Published12/2020

Early-onset sporadic rectal cancer (EOSRC) is a unique and predominant colorectal cancer (CRC) subtype in India. In order to understand the tumorigenic process in EOSRC, we performed whole-exome sequencing of 47 microsatellite stable EOSRC samples. Signature 1 was the predominant mutational signature in EOSRC, as previously shown in other CRC exome studies. More importantly, we identified TP53, KRAS, APC, PIK3R1, SMAD4 and ZNF880 as significantly mutated (q < 0.1) and ARID1A and ARID2 as near-significantly mutated (restricted hypothesis testing; q < 0.1) candidate drivers. Unlike the other candidates, the tumorigenic potential of ARID2, encoding a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, is largely unexplored in CRC. shRNA-mediated ARID2 knockdown performed in different CRC cell lines resulted in significant alterations in transcript levels of cancer-related target genes. More importantly, ARID2 knockdown promoted several tumorigenic features including cell viability, proliferation, ability to override contact inhibition of growth, and migration besides significantly increasing tumor formation ability in nude mice. The observed gain in tumorigenic features was rescued upon ectopic expression of wild type but not mutant ARID2. Analyses of the TCGA pan-cancer dataset revealed several modes of ARID2 inactivation and of the CRC dataset revealed poorer survival in patients with ARID2 alterations. We therefore propose ARID2 as a novel tumor suppressor in CRC.

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