Neuroblastoma (NB) is a childhood solid malignant tumor originating from precursor cells of the peripheral nervous system. We have previously established a risk classification system based on DNA copy number profiles. To further explore the pathogenesis of NBs in distinct risk groups, we performed whole-exome sequencing analysis of 57 primary and 7 recurrent/metastatic tumors with unique chromosomal aberration profiles as categorized by our genomic sub-grouping system. Overall, a low frequency of somatic mutations was found. Besides ALK (4/64, 6.3%), SEMA6C, SLIT1 and NRAS, genes involved in the axon guidance pathway, were identified as recurrently mutated in 6 of 64 tumors (9.4%). Pathway enrichment analysis revealed enrichment of 25 mutated genes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, 13 genes in the Wnt pathway, and 12 genes in the axon guidance pathway. Genomic analyses demonstrated that primary and matched recurrent or metastatic tumors obtained from sporadic and monozygotic twin NBs were clonally related with variable extents of genetic heterogeneity. Monozygotic twin NBs displayed different evolutionary trajectories. These results indicate the involvement of the axon guidance, MAPK and Wnt pathways in NB and demonstrate genomic diversity with NB progression.
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