Integrative whole-genome sequence analysis reveals roles of regulatory mutations in BCL6 and BCL2 in follicular lymphoma

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 1;7(1):7040. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07226-4.


The contribution of mutations in regulatory regions to tumorigenesis has been the subject of many recent studies. We propose a new framework for integrative analysis of genome-wide sequencing data by considering diverse genetic information. This approach is applied to study follicular lymphoma (FL), a disease for which little is known about the contribution of regulatory gene mutations. Results from a test FL cohort revealed three novel highly recurrent regulatory mutation blocks near important genes implicated in FL, BCL6 and BCL2. Similar findings were detected in a validation FL cohort. We also found transcription factors (TF) whose binding may be disturbed by these mutations in FL: disruption of FOX TF family near the BCL6 promoter may result in reduced BCL6 expression, which then increases BCL2 expression over that caused by BCL2 gene translocation. Knockdown experiments of two TF hits (FOXD2 or FOXD3) were performed in human B lymphocytes verifying that they modulate BCL6/BCL2 according to the computationally predicted effects of the SNVs on TF binding. Overall, our proposed integrative analysis facilitates non-coding driver identification and the new findings may enhance the understanding of FL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / pathology*
  • Mutation*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6 / genetics*
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • BCL2 protein, human
  • BCL6 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Transcription Factors