Single-cell mutational profiling and clonal phylogeny in cancer
Potter, N.E., Ermini, L., Papaemmanuil, E., Cazzaniga, G., Vijayaraghavan, G., Titley, I., Ford, A., Campbell, P., Kearney, L., Greaves, M.
The development of cancer is a dynamic evolutionary process in which intraclonal, genetic diversity provides a substrate for clonal selection and a source of therapeutic escape. The complexity and topography of intraclonal genetic architectures have major implications for biopsy-based prognosis and for targeted therapy. High-depth, next-generation sequencing (NGS) efficiently captures the mutational load of individual tumors or biopsies. But, being a snapshot portrait of total DNA, it disguises the fundamental features of subclonal variegation of genetic lesions and of clonal phylogeny. Single-cell genetic profiling provides a potential resolution to this problem, but methods developed to date all have limitations. We present a novel solution to this challenge using leukemic cells with known mutational spectra as a tractable model. DNA from flow-sorted single cells is screened using multiplex targeted Q-PCR within a microfluidic platform allowing unbiased single-cell selection, high-throughput, and comprehensive analysis for all main varieties of genetic abnormalities: chimeric gene fusions, copy number alterations, and single-nucleotide variants. We show, in this proof-of-principle study, that the method has a low error rate and can provide detailed subclonal genetic architectures and phylogenies.
Potter, N.E., Ermini, L., Papaemmanuil, E., Cazzaniga, G., Vijayaraghavan, G., Titley, I., Ford, A., Campbell, P., Kearney, L., Greaves, M. "Single-cell mutational profiling and clonal phylogeny in cancer" Genome Research (2013): 2,115–25