Use of clinical next-generation sequencing to identify melanomas harboring SMARCB1 mutations

David L. Stockman, Jonathan L. Curry, Carlos A. Torres-Cabala, Ian R. Watson, Alan E. Siroy, Roland L. Bassett, Lihua Zou, Keyur P. Patel, Rajyalakshmi Luthra, Michael A. Davies, Jennifer A. Wargo, Mark A. Routbort, Russell R. Broaddus, Victor G. Prieto, Alexander J. Lazar, Michael T. Tetzlaff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background SMARCB1 (INI1/BAF47/SNF5) encodes a part of a multiprotein complex that regulates gene expression through chromatin remodeling. SMARCB1 expression is lost or downregulated in multiple human tumors, including epithelioid sarcoma, meningioma and rhabdoid tumors of the brain, soft tissue and kidney. Methods A 46-gene or 50-gene next-generation sequencing AmpliSeq Cancer Panel (Life Technologies; San Francisco, CA, USA) was applied to ?1400 primary or metastatic melanoma tissues. Results We identified eight cases of melanoma harboring mutations in SMARCB1. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated preservation of SMARCB1 protein expression in all cases. SMARCB1 mutations occurred together with TP53 mutations in five of the eight cases, suggesting a functional relationship between these tumor suppressors in melanoma. Conclusions Because single-base substitutions in SMARCB1 occur in a small subset of melanomas and do not affect SMARCB1 protein expression, such mutations would only be discovered by sequencing approaches. Our findings highlight the potential for next-generation sequencing platforms to identify mutations unexpected for melanoma that may contribute to its oncogenic potential. Though rare, the identification of SMARCB1 mutations adds to the growing literature regarding the role of epigenetic control mechanisms in melanoma progression and therapeutic resistance and provide a rationale for strategies targeting such alterations (via chromatin remodeling agents) in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cutaneous pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • cancer research
  • malignant melanoma
  • molecular pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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