Recurrent activating mutations of PPARγ associated with luminal bladder tumors
AbstractThe upregulation of PPARγ/RXRα transcriptional activity has emerged as a key event in luminal bladder tumors. It renders tumor cell growth PPARγ-dependent and modulates the tumor microenvironment to favor escape from immuno-surveillance. The activation of the pathway has been linked to PPARG gains/amplifications resulting in PPARγ overexpression and to recurrent activating point mutations of RXRα. Here, we report recurrent mutations of PPARγ that also activate the PPARγ/RXRα pathway, conferring PPARγ-dependency and supporting a crucial role of PPARγ in luminal bladder cancer. These mutations are found throughout the protein—including N-terminal, DNA-binding and ligand-binding domains—and most of them enhance protein activity. Structure-function studies of PPARγ variants with mutations in the ligand-binding domain allow identifying structural elements that underpin their gain-of-function. Our study reveals genomic alterations of PPARG that lead to pro-tumorigenic PPARγ/RXRα pathway activation in luminal bladder tumors and may open the way towards alternative options for treatment.