Integrative Analysis of Genome, 3D Genome, and Transcriptome Alterations of Clinical Lung Cancer Samples

Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2021 Jun 8;S1672-0229(21)00096-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gpb.2020.05.007. Online ahead of print.


Genomic studies of cancer cell alterations, such as mutations, copy number variations (CNVs), and translocations, greatly promote our understanding of the genesis and development of cancer. However, the 3D genome architecture of cancers remains less studied due to the complexity of cancer genomes and technical difficulties. To explore the 3D genome structure in clinical lung cancer, we performed Hi-C experiments using paired normal and tumor cells harvested from patients with lung cancer, combining with RNA-seq analysis. We demonstrated the feasibility of studying 3D genome of clinical lung cancer samples with a small number of cells (1 × 104), compared the genome architecture between clinical samples and cell lines of lung cancer, and identified conserved and changed spatial chromatin structures between normal and cancer samples. We also showed that Hi-C data can be used to infer CNVs and point mutations in cancer. By integrating those different types of cancer alterations, we showed significant associations between CNVs, 3D genome, and gene expression. We propose that 3D genome mediates the effects of cancer genomic alterations on gene expression through altering regulatory chromatin structures. Our study highlights the importance of analyzing 3D genomes of clinical cancer samples in addition to cancer cell lines and provides an integrative genomic analysis pipeline for future larger-scale studies in lung cancer and other cancers.

Keywords: 3D genome; CNVs; Clinical samples; Integrative genomic analysis; Lung cancer.