CD8+ cell somatic mutations in multiple sclerosis patients and controls-Enrichment of mutations in STAT3 and other genes implicated in hematological malignancies.

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Date: Dec. 7, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 12)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,063 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Somatic mutations have a central role in cancer but their role in other diseases such as common autoimmune disorders is not clear. Previously we and others have demonstrated that especially CD8+ T cells in blood can harbor persistent somatic mutations in some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis. Here we concentrated on CD8+ cells in more detail and tested (i) how commonly somatic mutations are detectable, (ii) does the overall mutation load differ between MS patients and controls, and (iii) do the somatic mutations accumulate non-randomly in certain genes? We separated peripheral blood CD8+ cells from newly diagnosed relapsing MS patients (n = 21) as well as matched controls (n = 21) and performed next-generation sequencing of the CD8+ cells' DNA, limiting our search to a custom panel of 2524 immunity and cancer related genes, which enabled us to obtain a median sequencing depth of over 2000x. We discovered nonsynonymous somatic mutations in all MS patients' and controls' CD8+ cell DNA samples, with no significant difference in number between the groups (p = 0.60), at a median allelic fraction of 0.5% (range 0.2-8.6%). The mutations showed statistically significant clustering especially to the STAT3 gene, and also enrichment to the SMARCA2, DNMT3A, SOCS1 and PPP3CA genes. Known activating STAT3 mutations were found both in MS patients and controls and overall 1/5 of the mutations were previously described cancer mutations. The detected clustering suggests a selection advantage of the mutated CD8+ clones and calls for further research on possible phenotypic effects.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A685742457