Chromosomal rearrangements in uveal melanoma: Chromothripsis

Natasha M van Poppelen, Serdar Yavuzyigitoglu, Kyra N Smit, Jolanda Vaarwater, Bert Eussen, Tom Brands, Dion Paridaens, Emine Kiliç, Annelies de Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in the Western world. Recurrent mutations in GNAQ, GNA11, CYSLTR2, PLCB4, BAP1, EIF1AX, and SF3B1 are described as well as non-random chromosomal aberrations. Chromothripsis is a rare event in which chromosomes are shattered and rearranged and has been reported in a variety of cancers including UM. SNP arrays of 249 UM from patients who underwent enucleation, biopsy or endoresection were reviewed for the presence of chromothripsis. Chromothripsis was defined as ten or more breakpoints per chromosome involved. Genetic analysis of GNAQ, GNA11, BAP1, SF3B1, and EIF1AX was conducted using Sanger and next-generation sequencing. In addition, immunohistochemistry for BAP1 was performed. Chromothripsis was detected in 7 out of 249 tumors and the affected chromosomes were chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, and 13. The mean total of fragments per chromosome was 39.8 (range 12-116). In 1 UM, chromothripsis was present in 2 different chromosomes. GNAQ, GNA11 or CYSLTR2 mutations were present in 6 of these tumors and 5 tumors harbored a BAP1 mutation and/or lacked BAP1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Four of these tumors metastasized and for the fifth only short follow-up data are available. One of these metastatic tumors harbored an SF3B1 mutation. No EIF1AX mutations were detected in any of the tumors. To conclude, chromothripsis is a rare event in UM, occurring in 2.8% of samples and without significant association with mutations in any of the common UM driver genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-458
Number of pages7
JournalGenes, chromosomes & cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromothripsis
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-1/genetics
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits/genetics
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11/genetics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Melanoma/genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoproteins/genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics
  • Prognosis
  • RNA Splicing Factors/genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins/genetics
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/genetics
  • Uveal Neoplasms/genetics


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