Unraveling the Genomic-Epigenomic Interaction Landscape in Triple Negative and Non-Triple Negative Breast Cancer

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Background: The recent surge of next generation sequencing of breast cancer genomes has enabled development of comprehensive catalogues of somatic mutations and expanded the molecular classification of subtypes of breast cancer. However, somatic mutations and gene expression data have not been leveraged and integrated with epigenomic data to unravel the genomic-epigenomic interaction landscape of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and non-triple negative breast cancer (non-TNBC). Methods: We performed integrative data analysis combining somatic mutation, epigenomic and gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to unravel the possible oncogenic interactions between genomic and epigenomic variation in TNBC and non-TNBC. We hypothesized that within breast cancers, there are differences in somatic mutation, DNA methylation and gene expression signatures between TNBC and non-TNBC. We further hypothesized that genomic and epigenomic alterations affect gene regulatory networks and signaling pathways driving the two types of breast cancer. Results: The investigation revealed somatic mutated, epigenomic and gene expression signatures unique to TNBC and non-TNBC and signatures distinguishing the two types of breast cancer. In addition, the investigation revealed molecular networks and signaling pathways enriched for somatic mutations and epigenomic changes unique to each type of breast cancer. The most significant pathways for TNBC were: retinal biosynthesis, BAG2, LXR/RXR, EIF2 and P2Y purigenic receptor signaling pathways. The most significant pathways for non-TNBC were: UVB-induced MAPK, PCP, Apelin endothelial, Endoplasmatic reticulum stress and mechanisms of viral exit from host signaling Pathways. Conclusion: The investigation revealed integrated genomic, epigenomic and gene expression signatures and signing pathways unique to TNBC and non-TNBC, and a gene signature distinguishing the two types of breast cancer. The study demonstrates that integrative analysis of multi-omics data is a powerful approach for unravelling the genomic-epigenomic interaction landscape in TNBC and non-TNBC.

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