Sequencing and phasing cancer mutations in lung cancers using a long-read portable sequencer

Here, we employed cDNA amplicon sequencing using a long-read portable sequencer, MinION, to characterize various types of mutations in cancer-related genes, namely, EGFR, KRAS, NRAS and NF1. For homozygous SNVs, the precision and recall rates were 87.5% and 91.3%, respectively. For previously reported hotspot mutations, the precision and recall rates reached 100%. The precise junctions of EML4-ALK, CCDC6-RET and five other gene fusions were also detected. Taking advantages of long-read sequencing, we conducted phasing of EGFR mutations and elucidated the mutational allelic backgrounds of anti-tumor drug-sensitive and resistant mutations, which could provide useful information for selecting therapeutic approaches. In the H1975 cells, 72% of the reads harbored both L858R and T790M mutations, and 22% of the reads harbored neither mutation. To ensure that the clinical requirements can be met in potentially low cancer cell populations, we further conducted a serial dilution analysis of the template for EGFR mutations. Several percent of the mutant alleles could be detected depending on the yield and quality of the sequencing data. Finally, we characterized the mutation genotypes in eight clinical samples. This method could be a convenient long-read sequencing-based analytical approach and thus may change the current approaches used for cancer genome sequencing.

Data available under DDBJ accession DRA004627 and DRA005767.

‘In our study, we could detect the major driver genes, which have diverse patterns, including point mutations and fusions, using MinION’

Suzuki et al

Authors: Yutaka Suzuki, Ayako Suzuki, et al