Deep DNA sequencing of MGMT, TP53 and AGT in Mexican astrocytoma patients identifies an excess of genetic variants in women and a predictive biomarker

J Neurooncol. 2023 Jan;161(1):165-174. doi: 10.1007/s11060-022-04214-1. Epub 2022 Dec 16.


Purpose: Astrocytomas are a type of malignant brain tumor with an unfavorable clinical course. The impact of AGT and MGMT somatic variants in the prognosis of astrocytoma is unknown, and it is controversial for TP53. Moreover, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the molecular characteristics of astrocytomas in Mexican patients.

Methods: We studied 48 Mexican patients, men and women, with astrocytoma (discovery cohort). We performed DNA deep sequencing in tumor samples, targeting AGT, MGMT and TP53, and we studied MGMT gene promoter methylation status. Then we compared our findings to a cohort which included data from patients with astrocytoma from The Cancer Genome Atlas (validation cohort).

Results: In the discovery cohort, we found a higher number of somatic variants in AGT and MGMT than in the validation cohort (10.4% vs < 1%, p < 0.001), and, in both cohorts, we observed only women carried variants AGT variants. We also found that the presence of either MGMT variant or promoter methylation was associated to better survival and response to chemotherapy, and, in conjunction with TP53 variants, to progression-free survival.

Conclusions: The occurrence of AGT variants only in women expands our knowledge about the molecular differences in astrocytoma between men and women. The increased prevalence of AGT and MGMT variants in the discovery cohort also points towards possible distinctions in the molecular landscape of astrocytoma among populations. Our findings warrant further study.

Keywords: AGT; Astrocytoma; MGMT; Somatic variant; TP53.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma* / pathology
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • DNA / therapeutic use
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA Modification Methylases / genetics
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • DNA
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • MGMT protein, human
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • AGT protein, human