Whole-genome sequencing identifies a recurrent functional synonymous mutation in melanoma

Synonymous mutations, which do not alter the protein sequence, have been shown to affect protein function [Sauna ZE, Kimchi-Sarfaty C (2011) Nat Rev Genet 12(10):683-691]. However, synonymous mutations are rarely investigated in the cancer genomics field. We used whole-genome and -exome sequencing to identify somatic mutations in 29 melanoma samples. Validation of one synonymous somatic mutation in BCL2L12 in 285 samples identified 12 cases that harbored the recurrent F17F mutation. This mutation led to increased BCL2L12 mRNA and protein levels because of differential targeting of WT and mutant BCL2L12 by hsa-miR-671-5p.

Jimmy LinPNAS