Characterizing Genomic Differences of Human Cancer Stratified by the TP53 Mutation Status

Mol Genet Genomics. 2018 Jun;293(3):737-746. doi: 10.1007/s00438-018-1416-7. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


The key roles of the TP53 mutation in cancer have been well established. TP53 is the most frequently mutated gene, and its inactivation is widespread among human cancer types. However, the landscape of genomic alterations in human cancers stratified by the TP53 mutation has not yet been described. We obtained somatic mutation and copy number change data of 6551 regular-mutated samples from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and compared significantly mutated genes (SMGs), copy number alterations, mutational signatures and mutational strand asymmetries between cancer samples with and without the TP53 mutation. We identified 126 SMGs, 30 of which were statistically significant in both the TP53 mutant and wild-type groups. Several SMGs, such as VHL, SMAD4 and PTEN, showed a mutation bias towards the TP53 wild-type group, whereas ATRX, IDH1 and RB1 were more prevalent in the TP53 mutant group. Five mutational signatures were extracted from the combined TCGA dataset on which mutational asymmetry analysis was performed, revealing that the TP53 mutant group exhibited substantially greater replication and transcription biases. Furthermore, we found that alterations of multiple genes in a merged mutually exclusive network composed of BRAF, EGFR, PAK1, PIK3CA, PTEN, APC and TERT were related to shortened survival in the TP53 wild-type group. In summary, we characterized the genomic differences and similarities underlying human cancers stratified by the TP53 mutation and identified multi-gene alterations of a merged mutually exclusive network to be a poor prognostic factor for the TP53 wild-type group.

Keywords: Mutational signature; Mutually exclusivity; Significantly mutated genes; TP53 mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*


  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53