Image_2_High Level of Aristolochic Acid Detected With a Unique Genomic Landscape Predicts Early UTUC Onset After Renal Transplantation in Taiwan.tif
The unusual high dialysis prevalence and upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) incidence in Taiwan may attribute to aristolochic acid (AA), which is nephrotoxic and carcinogenic, exposure. AA can cause a unique mutagenic pattern showing A:T to T:A transversions (mutational Signature 22) analyzed by whole exome sequencing (WES). However, a fast and cost-effective tool is still lacking for clinical practice. To address this issue, we developed an efficient and quantitative platform for the quantitation of AA and tried to link AA detection with clinical outcomes and decipher the genomic landscape of UTUC in Taiwan.Patients and Methods
We recruited 61 patients with de novo onset of UTUC after kidney transplantation who underwent radical nephroureterectomy. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) platform was developed for the quantitation of AA. Pearson’s chi-square test, Kaplan–Meier method, and Cox proportional hazard model were utilized to assess the correlations among AA detection, clinicopathological characteristics, and clinical outcomes. Seven tumors and seven paired normal tissues were sequenced using WES (approximately 800x sequencing depth) and analyzed by bioinformatic tool.Results
We found that high level of 7-(deoxyadenosin-N6-yl)aristolactam I (dA-AL-I) detected in paired normal tissues was significantly correlated with fast UTUC initiation times after renal transplantation (p = 0.035) and with no use of sirolimus (p = 0.046). Using WES analysis, we further observed that all tumor samples were featured by Signature 22 mutations, apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide (APOBEC)-associated gene mutations, p53 mutations, no fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) mutation, and high tumor mutation burden (TMB). Especially, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation predominated in dA-AL-I-detected samples compared with those without dA-AL-I detection and might be associated with UTUC initiation through cell proliferation and suppression of UTUC progression via autophagy inhibition.Conclusion
Accordingly, dA-AL-I detection can provide more direct evidence to AA exposure and serve as a more specific predictive and prognostic biomarker for patients with de novo onset of UTUC after kidney transplantation.