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1893 Single-Cell Long-Read Sequencing Enables the Dissection of BTK Subclonal Dynamics in CLL Treatment

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 641. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemias: Basic and Translational: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Translational Research
Saturday, December 9, 2023, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Gage Black1*, Xiaomeng Huang, PhD1*, Yi Qiao, PhD1*, Philip Moos, PhD2*, Deborah M. Stephens, DO3, Gabor Marth, DSc1* and Jennifer A. Woyach, MD4

1Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
3Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
4The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH

Introduction: BTK inhibition is an effective frontline therapy for patients with CLL. However, patients who develop BTK C481S mutations relapse quickly. We recently published a longitudinal study investigating subclonal evolution in 38 patients receiving BTKi treatment for CLL. Of the 38 patients, 6 developed a subclone containing a BTK C481S mutation identified in the whole-exome sequencing (WES) data at the time of relapse. To understand whether a BTK C481S mutation alone can drive relapse or if an additional CLL-relevant mutation is required, we investigate these subclones on a single-cell level using PacBio Multiplexed Arrays Sequencing (MAS-seq). MAS-seq generates single-cell, long-read RNA sequencing data, which is highly accurate and provides coverage across the entire mRNA transcript.

Methods: For each patient, B cells were isolated from a pre-BTKi treatment sample and a sample taken at the time of relapse. Single-cell cDNA library preps were generated using the 10X Genomics Chromium platform. The cDNA was then sequenced using MAS-Seq. After processing the MAS-seq data using PacBio’s Isoseq pipeline, Seurat was used to perform a single-cell analysis for each sample. We used scBayes, a Bayesian-statistical approach developed in our lab (Qiao et al., Genome Research, in review), to assign subclone identity to individual cells based on the expression of previously identified somatic mutations. The transcript-wide coverage of MAS-seq increases the likelihood of coverage at the somatic mutation sites compared to traditional single-cell RNA sequencing methods.

Results: We have sequenced and analyzed samples from 4 patients in this study (pt 1-4). In the pretreatment sample of pt 1, two subclones containing different TP53 mutations were present. At the time of relapse, a BTK C481S subclone evolved from one of these TP53 subclones, becoming the dominant clonal population. No other CLL-relevant mutations were detected in this patient. Pts 2-4 had an additional CLL-relevant mutation evolve with the BTK C481S mutation in the dominant subclone at the time of relapse. In pt 2, a subclone with an NFKBIE and the BTK mutation evolved from a cell population where BRAF, BCOR, and EGFR2 mutations were present. The BTK C481S subclone in Pt 3 also had new KMT2D and CREBBP mutations. This subclone evolved from a cell population with an ASXL1 and SF3B1 mutation. In pts 1-3, the BTK subclone was only seen at the time of relapse. Pt 4 did not have any CLL-relevant mutations identified before treatment. In a sample taken 6 months before relapse, a BTK C481S subclone is visible at a low frequency with no other CLL-relevant mutations. At the time of relapse, a DICER1 variant, a gene recently implicated in CLL (Knisbacher et al., Nature Genetics, 2022), evolved from the BTK subclone and is seen at the time of relapse as the dominant subclone. Furthermore, the full-transcript sequencing at the single-cell level enabled us to identify a second BTK C481S subclone present at the time of relapse and determine that it was independent of the subclone containing both the BTK C481S and DICER1 mutations. This second BTK subclone had no other CLL-relevant mutations and remained at a very low frequency.

Conclusion: Single-cell long-read RNA sequencing via MAS-seq provides transcript-wide coverage, which enables genotyping at somatic mutation sites. Using this method, we found that the dominant relapse clones all contained a BTK C481S mutation, which either co-evolved with additional CLL-relevant mutations (3/4 patients) or occurred on the background of existing TP53 mutations (1/4 patients).

Disclosures: Stephens: AbbVie: Consultancy; AstraZeneca: Consultancy, Research Funding; BeiGene: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; Genentech: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy; Lilly: Consultancy; Novartis: Research Funding. Woyach: Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Newave: Consultancy; Beigene: Consultancy; Loxo: Consultancy; Schrodinger: Research Funding; Abbvie: Consultancy; AstraZeneca: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy, Research Funding; Karyopharm: Research Funding; Morphosys: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH