Distinct Mutagenic Activity of APOBEC3G Cytidine Deaminase Identified in Bladder Cancer.

The APOBEC cytidine deaminase enzyme family is linked to mutational signatures identified in cancer. While previous work has provided insights into the role of APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B in mutational processes in cancer, understanding of the mutational signatures induced by other APOBEC family members is limited. In this issue of Cancer Research, Liu and colleagues investigated the role of APOBEC3G (A3G) in bladder cancer. The authors revealed that transgenic expression of A3G in a murine bladder cancer model promotes tumorigenesis and induces a unique mutational signature distinct from previously identified APOBEC signatures. Expression of this A3G-related mutational signature correlated with significantly worse survival in patients with urothelial bladder carcinoma, and A3G expression was identified in 21 different cancer types. These findings suggest that different APOBEC3 enzymes induce unique mutation signatures and play distinct roles in cancer evolution. More complete understanding of the function of each APOBEC3 enzyme will improve anticancer therapy. See related article by Liu et al., p. 506.

Cancer research. 2023 Feb 15 [Epub]

Deborah Caswell, Charles Swanton

Cancer Evaluation and Genome Instability Laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom.