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Transcriptional regulation is highly disease and cell-type specific. We performed H3K27ac chromatin immunoprecipitation and transcriptomic sequencing in primary tumors for the four different subtypes of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (OC). Histotype-specific regulatory elements (REs) were enriched in enhancers (P<0.001). In silico prediction of putative target genes for histotype-specific REs identified genes (WFDC2, P=5.5x10-5) and pathways (PI3K-Akt signaling, P<0.002) known to be involved in OC development. Some genes (e.g. PAX8 and CA125) are associated with super-enhancers (SEs) in all OCs, while others are histotype-specific, including PPP1R3B which is associated with SEs specific to clear cell OC. Integrated analysis of active chromatin landscapes with somatic single nucleotide variants (SNVs) from whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 232 primary OCs identified frequently mutated REs, including the KLF6 promoter (P=8.2x10-8) and a putative enhancer at chromosome 6p22.1 (P<0.05). In high-grade serous OCs, somatic SNVs clustered in binding sites for the PAX8 binding partner TEAD4 (P=6x10-11), while the collection of cis regulatory elements associated with PAX8 was the most frequently mutated set of enhancers in OC (P=0.003). Functional analyses supported our findings: Knockdown of PPP1R3B in clear cell OC cells significantly reduced intracellular glycogen content, a signature feature of this histotype; and stable knockout of a 635 bp region in the 6p22.1 enhancer induced downregulation of two predicted target genes, ZSCAN16 and ZSCAN12 (P=6.6 x 10-4 and P=0.02). In summary, we have characterized histotype-specific epigenomic and transcriptomic landscapes in OC and defined likely functional REs based on somatic mutation analysis of ovarian tumors.

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