Whole-genome mutational landscape and characterization of noncoding and structural mutations in liver cancer

Nat Genet. 2016 May;48(5):500-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.3547. Epub 2016 Apr 11.


Liver cancer, which is most often associated with virus infection, is prevalent worldwide, and its underlying etiology and genomic structure are heterogeneous. Here we provide a whole-genome landscape of somatic alterations in 300 liver cancers from Japanese individuals. Our comprehensive analysis identified point mutations, structural variations (STVs), and virus integrations, in noncoding and coding regions. We discovered mutational signatures related to liver carcinogenesis and recurrently mutated coding and noncoding regions, such as long intergenic noncoding RNA genes (NEAT1 and MALAT1), promoters, CTCF-binding sites, and regulatory regions. STV analysis found a significant association with replication timing and identified known (CDKN2A, CCND1, APC, and TERT) and new (ASH1L, NCOR1, and MACROD2) cancer-related genes that were recurrently affected by STVs, leading to altered expression. These results emphasize the value of whole-genome sequencing analysis in discovering cancer driver mutations and understanding comprehensive molecular profiles of liver cancer, especially with regard to STVs and noncoding mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Structures
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Virus Integration


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins