Widespread impact of DNA replication on mutational mechanisms in cancer
Tomkova M., Tomek J., Kriaucionis S., Schuster-Böckler B.
ABSTRACT DNA replication plays an important role in mutagenesis, yet little is known about how it interacts with other mutagenic processes. Here, we use somatic mutation signatures – each representing a mutagenic process – derived from 3056 patients spanning 19 cancer types to quantify the asymmetry of mutational signatures around replication origins and between early and late replicating regions. We observe that 22 out of 29 mutational signatures are significantly impacted by DNA replication. The distinct associations of different signatures with replication timing and direction around origins shed new light on several mutagenic processes, for example suggesting that oxidative damage to the nucleotide pool substantially contributes to the mutational landscape of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Together, our results indicate an involvement of DNA replication and associated damage repair in most mutagenic processes.