Dedifferentiated carcinoma of the endometrium or the ovary is an aggressive epithelial malignancy that comprises an endometrioid carcinoma together with an undifferentiated carcinoma. We recently reported that inactivation of BRG1 or INI1, core subunits of the switch/sucrose non-fermenting (SWI/SNF) complex, was the likely molecular event underlying dedifferentiation in about half of dedifferentiated carcinomas. In this study, we performed a genomic screen that included other members of the SWI/SNF complex to better delineate the molecular basis in the remainder of these tumours. We identified concurrent inactivating mutations involving ARID1A and ARID1B in 12 of 24 BRG1/INI1-intact, 0 of 3 INI1-deficient and 0 of 16 BRG1-deficient dedifferentiated carcinomas. All ARID1A and ARID1B co-mutated tumours displayed loss of ARID1A expression in the undifferentiated component with 11 of 12 tumours also displaying absent staining in the endometrioid component. ARID1B expression was absent in the undifferentiated component in all 12 tumours, whereas the corresponding endometrioid component showed intact expression. Clinically, ARID1A/ARID1B co-inactivated tumours showed similar aggressive behaviour to BRG1 or INI1-inactivated tumours. Given that ARID1A and ARID1B are the only known DNA-binding subunits of the SWI/SNF-A complex, additional inactivation of ARID1B in an ARID1A-deficient background appears to represent an alternative mechanism of disruption of SWI/SNF-mediated transcriptional regulation, resulting in arrested cellular differentiation in endometrial and ovarian endometrioid cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine