Genome-wide interrogation of structural variation reveals novel African-specific prostate cancer oncogenic drivers

Tingting Gong, Weerachai Jaratlerdsiri, Jue Jiang, Cali Willet, Tracy Chew, Sean M. Patrick, Ruth J. Lyons, Anne Maree Haynes, Gabriela Pasqualim, Ilma Simoni Brum, Phillip D. Stricker, Shingai B.A. Mutambirwa, Rosemarie Sadsad, Anthony T. Papenfuss, Riana M.S. Bornman, Eva K.F. Chan, Vanessa M. Hayes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: African ancestry is a significant risk factor for advanced prostate cancer (PCa). Mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5-fold greater than global averages. However, the region has largely been excluded from the benefits of whole genome interrogation studies. Additionally, while structural variation (SV) is highly prevalent, PCa genomic studies are still biased towards small variant interrogation. Methods: Using whole genome sequencing and best practice workflows, we performed a comprehensive analysis of SVs for 180 (predominantly Gleason score ≥ 8) prostate tumours derived from 115 African, 61 European and four ancestrally admixed patients. We investigated the landscape and relationship of somatic SVs in driving ethnic disparity (African versus European), with a focus on African men from southern Africa. Results: Duplication events showed the greatest ethnic disparity, with a 1.6- (relative frequency) to 2.5-fold (count) increase in African-derived tumours. Furthermore, we found duplication events to be associated with CDK12 inactivation and MYC copy number gain, and deletion events associated with SPOP mutation. Overall, African-derived tumours were 2-fold more likely to present with a hyper-SV subtype. In addition to hyper-duplication and deletion subtypes, we describe a new hyper-translocation subtype. While we confirm a lower TMPRSS2-ERG fusion-positive rate in tumours from African cases (10% versus 33%), novel African-specific PCa ETS family member and TMPRSS2 fusion partners were identified, including LINC01525, FBXO7, GTF3C2, NTNG1 and YPEL5. Notably, we found 74 somatic SV hotspots impacting 18 new candidate driver genes, with CADM2, LSAMP, PTPRD, PDE4D and PACRG having therapeutic implications for African patients. Conclusions: In this first African-inclusive SV study for high-risk PCa, we demonstrate the power of SV interrogation for the identification of novel subtypes, oncogenic drivers and therapeutic targets. Identifying a novel spectrum of SVs in tumours derived from African patients provides a mechanism that may contribute, at least in part, to the observed ethnic disparity in advanced PCa presentation in men of African ancestry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
JournalGenome Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced disease
  • African ancestry
  • Chromosomal instability
  • Ethnic disparity
  • Prostate cancer
  • Whole genome sequencing


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome-wide interrogation of structural variation reveals novel African-specific prostate cancer oncogenic drivers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this