Neuroblastoma is a childhood tumour of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. The pathogenesis has for a long time been quite enigmatic, as only very few gene defects were identified in this often lethal tumour. Frequently detected gene alterations are limited to MYCN amplification (20%) and ALK activations (7%). Here we present a whole-genome sequence analysis of 87 neuroblastoma of all stages. Few recurrent amino-acid-changing mutations were found. In contrast, analysis of structural defects identified a local shredding of chromosomes, known as chromothripsis, in 18% of high-stage neuroblastoma. These tumours are associated with a poor outcome. Structural alterations recurrently affected ODZ3, PTPRD and CSMD1, which are involved in neuronal growth cone stabilization. In addition, ATRX, TIAM1 and a series of regulators of the Rac/Rho pathway were mutated, further implicating defects in neuritogenesis in neuroblastoma. Most tumours with defects in these genes were aggressive high-stage neuroblastomas, but did not carry MYCN amplifications. The genomic landscape of neuroblastoma therefore reveals two novel molecular defects, chromothripsis and neuritogenesis gene alterations, which frequently occur in high-risk tumours.,
Nature: international weekly journal of science
Department of Pediatrics

Molenaar, J., Koster, J., Zwijnenburg, D., van Sluis, P., Valentijn, L., van der Ploeg, I., … Versteeg, R. (2012). Sequencing of neuroblastoma identifies chromothripsis and defects in neuritogenesis genes. Nature: international weekly journal of science, 483(7391), 589–593. doi:10.1038/nature10910