Common and contrasting genomic profiles among the major human lung cancer subtypes

G. Tonon, C. Brennan, A. Protopopov, G. Maulik, B. Feng, Y. Zhang, D. B. Khatry, M. J. You, A. J. Aguirre, E. S. Martin, Z. Yang, H. Ji, L. Chin, K. K. Wong, R. A. DePinho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. With the recent success of molecularly targeted therapies in this disease, a detailed knowledge of the spectrum of genetic lesions in lung cancer represents a critical step in the development of additional effective agents. An integrated high-resolution survey of regional amplifications and deletions and gene expression profiling of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC) identified 93 focal high-confidence copy number alterations (CNAs), with 21 spanning less than 0.5 Mb with a median of five genes. Most CNAs were novel and included high-amplitude amplification and homozygous deletion events. Pathogenic relevance of these genomic alterations was further reinforced by their recurrence and overlap with focal alterations of other tumor types. Additionally, the comparison of the genomic profiles of the two major subtypes of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), showed an almost complete overlap with the exception of one amplified region on chromosome 3, specific for SCC. Among the few genes overexpressed within this amplicon was p63, a known regulator of squamous cell differentiation. These findings suggest that the AC and SCC subtypes may arise from a common cell of origin and they are driven to their distinct phenotypic end points by altered expression of a limited number of key genes such as p63.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalCold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry


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