Whole-exome sequencing reveals genetic variants that may play a role in neurocytomas

J Neurooncol. 2024 Feb;166(3):471-483. doi: 10.1007/s11060-024-04567-9. Epub 2024 Feb 6.


Objectives: Neurocytomas (NCs) are rare intracranial tumors that can often be surgically resected. However, disease course is unpredictable in many patients and medical therapies are lacking. We have used whole exome sequencing to explore the molecular etiology for neurocytoma and assist in target identification to develop novel therapeutic interventions.

Methods: We used whole exome sequencing (WES) to compare the molecular landscape of 21 primary & recurrent NCs to five normal cerebellar control samples. WES data was analyzed using the Qiagen Clinical Insight program, variants of interest (VOI) were interrogated using ConSurf, ScoreCons, & Ingenuity Pathway Analysis Software to predict their potential functional effects, and Copy number variations (CNVs) in the genes of interest were analyzed by Genewiz (Azenta Life Sciences).

Results: Of 40 VOI involving thirty-six genes, 7 were pathogenic, 17 likely-pathogenic, and 16 of uncertain-significance. Of seven pathogenic NC associated variants, Glucosylceramidase beta 1 [GBA1 c.703T > C (p.S235P)] was mutated in 5/21 (24%), Coagulation factor VIII [F8 c.3637dupA (p.I1213fs*28)] in 4/21 (19%), Phenylalanine hydroxylase [PAH c.975C > A (p.Y325*)] in 3/21 (14%), and Fanconi anemia complementation group C [FANCC c.1162G > T (p.G388*)], Chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 7 [CHD7 c.2839C > T (p.R947*)], Myosin VIIA [MYO7A c.940G > T (p.E314*)] and Dynein axonemal heavy chain 11 [DNAH11 c.3544C > T (p.R1182*)] in 2/21 (9.5%) NCs respectively. CNVs were noted in 85% of these latter 7 genes. Interestingly, a Carboxy-terminal domain RNA polymerase II polypeptide A small phosphatase 2 [CTDSP2 c.472G > A (p.E158K)] of uncertain significance was also found in > 70% of NC cases.

Interpretation: The variants of interest we identified in the NCs regulate a variety of neurological processes including cilia motility, cell metabolism, immune responses, and DNA damage repair and provide novel insights into the molecular pathogenesis of these extremely rare tumors.

Keywords: Brain tumors; Neurocytoma variants; Whole exome sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Neurocytoma*