Identification of novel fusion transcripts in meningioma

J Neurooncol. 2020 Sep;149(2):219-230. doi: 10.1007/s11060-020-03599-1. Epub 2020 Sep 19.


Introduction: Meningiomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor. Recent next generation sequencing analyses have elaborated the molecular drivers of this disease. We aimed to identify and characterize novel fusion genes in meningiomas.

Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of our RNA sequencing data of 145 primary meningioma from 140 patients to detect fusion genes. Semi-quantitative rt-PCR was performed to confirm transcription of the fusion genes in the original tumors. Whole exome sequencing was performed to identify copy number variations within each tumor sample. Comparative RNA seq analysis was performed to assess the clonality of the fusion constructs within the tumor.

Results: We detected six fusion events (NOTCH3-SETBP1, NF2-SPATA13, SLC6A3-AGBL3, PHF19-FOXP2 in two patients, and ITPK1-FBP2) in five out of 145 tumor samples. All but one event (NF2-SPATA13) led to extremely short reading frames, making these events de facto null alleles. Three of the five patients had a history of childhood radiation. Four out of six fusion events were detected in expression type C tumors, which represent the most aggressive meningioma. We validated the presence of the RNA transcripts in the tumor tissue by semi-quantitative RT PCR. All but the two PHF19-FOXP2 fusions demonstrated high degrees of clonality.

Conclusions: Fusion genes occur infrequently in meningiomas and are more likely to be found in tumors with greater degree of genomic instability (expression type C) or in patients with history of cranial irradiation.

Keywords: Fusion gene; Meningioma; NF2; RNA sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Meningioma / genetics*
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion