Genomic sequencing of colorectal adenocarcinomas identifies a recurrent VTI1A-TCF7L2 fusion

Adam J. Bass, Michael S. Lawrence, Lear E. Brace, Alex H. Ramos, Yotam Drier, Kristian Cibulskis, Carrie Sougnez, Douglas Voet, Gordon Saksena, Andrey Sivachenko, Rui Jing, Melissa Parkin, Trevor Pugh, Roel G. Verhaak, Nicolas Stransky, Adam T. Boutin, Jordi Barretina, David B. Solit, Evi Vakiani, Wenlin ShaoYuji Mishina, Markus Warmuth, Jose Jimenez, Derek Y. Chiang, Sabina Signoretti, William G. Kaelin, Nicole Spardy, William C. Hahn, Yujin Hoshida, Shuji Ogino, Ronald A. Depinho, Lynda Chin, Levi A. Garraway, Charles S. Fuchs, Jose Baselga, Josep Tabernero, Stacey Gabriel, Eric S. Lander, Gad Getz*, Matthew Meyerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


Prior studies have identified recurrent oncogenic mutations in colorectal adenocarcinoma and have surveyed exons of protein-coding genes for mutations in 11 affected individuals. Here we report whole-genome sequencing from nine individuals with colorectal cancer, including primary colorectal tumors and matched adjacent non-tumor tissues, at an average of 30.7× and 31.9× coverage, respectively. We identify an average of 75 somatic rearrangements per tumor, including complex networks of translocations between pairs of chromosomes. Eleven rearrangements encode predicted in-frame fusion proteins, including a fusion of VTI1A and TCF7L2 found in 3 out of 97 colorectal cancers. Although TCF7L2 encodes TCF4, which cooperates with β-catenin in colorectal carcinogenesis, the fusion lacks the TCF4 β-catenin-binding domain. We found a colorectal carcinoma cell line harboring the fusion gene to be dependent on VTI1A-TCF7L2 for anchorage-independent growth using RNA interference- mediated knockdown. This study shows previously unidentified levels of genomic rearrangements in colorectal carcinoma that can lead to essential gene fusions and other oncogenic events.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)964-970
Number of pages7
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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