Genome Analysis of Osteosarcoma Progression Samples Identifies FGFR1 Overexpression as a Potential Treatment Target and CHM as a Candidate Tumor Suppressor Gene

PLoS One. 2016 Sep 29;11(9):e0163859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163859. eCollection 2016.


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone, showing complex chromosomal rearrangements but with few known consistent changes. Deeper biological understanding is crucial to find new therapies to improve patient survival. We have sequenced the whole exome of two primary tumors (before and after chemotherapy), one metastatic tumor and a matched normal sample from two OS patients, to identify mutations involved in cancer biology. The metastatic samples were also RNA sequenced. By RNA sequencing we identified dysregulated expression levels of drug resistance- and apoptosis-related genes. Two fusion transcripts were identified in one patient (OS111); the first resulted in p53 inactivation by fusing the first exon of TP53 to the fifth exon of FAM45A. The second fusion joined the two first exons of FGFR1 to the second exon of ZNF343. Furthermore, FGFR1 was amplified and highly expressed, representing a potential treatment target in this patient. Whole exome sequencing revealed large intertumor heterogeneity, with surprisingly few shared mutations. Careful evaluation and validation of the data sets revealed a number of artefacts, but one recurrent mutation was validated, a nonsense mutation in CHM (patient OS106), which also was the mutation with the highest expression frequency (53%). The second patient (OS111) had wild-type CHM, but a downregulated expression level. In a panel of 71 clinical samples, we confirmed significant low expression of CHM compared to the controls (p = 0.003). Furthermore, by analyzing public datasets, we identified a significant association between low expression and poor survival in two other cancer types. Together, these results suggest CHM as a candidate tumor suppressor gene that warrants further investigation.

Grants and funding

TB, ØSB and OM were financed by Oslo University and Oslo University Hospital. SL, JS, CSRC and LAMZ were financed by Oslo University Hospital. The work was further supported by the Norwegian Research Council (grant 218241) and the Norwegian Cancer Society (grant PR-2007-0163). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.