Elevated somatic mutation burdens in normal human cells due to defective DNA polymerases
Philip S Robinson,
Andrew R.J. Lawson,
Mathijs A Sanders,
Claudia M.A. Pinna,
Peter J. Campbell,
Michael R. Stratton
Posted 24 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.23.167668
Posted 24 Jun 2020
Mutation accumulation over time in normal somatic cells contributes to cancer development and is proposed as a cause of ageing. DNA polymerases Pol ϵ and Pol δ replicate DNA with high fidelity during normal cell divisions. However, in some cancers defective proofreading due to acquired mutations in the exonuclease domains of POLE or POLD1 causes markedly elevated somatic mutation burdens with distinctive mutational signatures. POLE and POLD1 exonuclease domain mutations also cause familial cancer predisposition when inherited through the germline. Here, we sequenced normal tissue DNA from individuals with germline POLE or POLD1 exonuclease domain mutations. Increased mutation burdens with characteristic mutational signatures were found to varying extents in all normal adult somatic cell types examined, during early embryogenesis and in sperm. Mutation burdens were further markedly elevated in neoplasms from these individuals. Thus human physiology is able to tolerate ubiquitously elevated mutation burdens. Indeed, with the exception of early onset cancer, individuals with germline POLE and POLD1 exonuclease domain mutations are not reported to show abnormal phenotypic features, including those of premature ageing. The results, therefore, do not support a simple model in which all features of ageing are attributable to widespread cell malfunction directly resulting from somatic mutation burdens accrued during life. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 1,243 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 18,045
- In genomics: 1,749
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 9,681
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 68,224
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!