SWAN pathway-network identification of common aneuploidy-based oncogenic drivers

Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Apr 22;50(7):3673-3692. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac200.


Haploinsufficiency drives Darwinian evolution. Siblings, while alike in many aspects, differ due to monoallelic differences inherited from each parent. In cancer, solid tumors exhibit aneuploid genetics resulting in hundreds to thousands of monoallelic gene-level copy-number alterations (CNAs) in each tumor. Aneuploidy patterns are heterogeneous, posing a challenge to identify drivers in this high-noise genetic environment. Here, we developed Shifted Weighted Annotation Network (SWAN) analysis to assess biology impacted by cumulative monoallelic changes. SWAN enables an integrated pathway-network analysis of CNAs, RNA expression, and mutations via a simple web platform. SWAN is optimized to best prioritize known and novel tumor suppressors and oncogenes, thereby identifying drivers and potential druggable vulnerabilities within cancer CNAs. Protein homeostasis, phospholipid dephosphorylation, and ion transport pathways are commonly suppressed. An atlas of CNA pathways altered in each cancer type is released. These CNA network shifts highlight new, attractive targets to exploit in solid tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Aneuploidy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Oncogenes*
  • Signal Transduction