Chung J*, Maruvka YE
*, Sudhaman S, Kelly J, Haradhvala NJ
, Bianchi V, Edwards M, Forster VJ, Nunes NM, Galati MA, Komosa M, Deshmukh S, Cabric V, Davidson S, Zatzman M, Light N, Hayes R, Brunga L, Anderson ND, Ho B, Hodel KP, Siddaway R, Morrissy AS, Bowers DC, Larouche V, Bronsema A, Osborn M, Cole KA, Opocher E, Mason G, Thomas GA, George B, Ziegler DS, Lindhorst S, Vanan M, Yalon-Oren M, Reddy AT, Massimino M, Tomboc P, Van Damme A, Lossos A, Durno C, Aronson M, Morgenstern DA, Bouffet E, Huang A, Taylor MD, Villani A, Malkin D, Hawkins CE, Pursell ZF, Shlien A, Kunkel TA, Getz G#
^, Tabori U#
Although replication repair deficiency, either by mismatch repair deficiency (MMRD) and/or loss of DNA polymerase proofreading, can cause hypermutation in cancer, microsatellite instability (MSI) is considered a hallmark of MMRD alone. By genome-wide analysis of tumors with germline and somatic deficiencies in replication repair, we reveal a novel association between loss of polymerase proofreading and MSI, especially when both components are lost. Analysis of indels in microsatellites (MS-indels) identified five distinct signatures (MS-sigs). MMRD MS-sigs are dominated by multi-base losses, while mutant-polymerase MS-sigs contain primarily single-base gains. MS-deletions in MMRD tumors depend on the original size of the microsatellite and converge to a preferred length, providing mechanistic insight. Finally, we demonstrate that MS-sigs can be a powerful clinical tool for managing individuals with germline MMRD and replication repair deficient cancers, as they can detect the replication repair deficiency in normal cells and predict their response to immunotherapy.