Novel SOX10 indel mutations drive schwannomas through impaired transactivation of myelination gene programs

Erik A. Williams, Ajay Ravindranathan, Rohit Gupta, Nicholas O. Stevers, Abigail K. Suwala, Chibo Hong, Somang Kim, Jimmy Bo Yuan, Jasper Wu, Jairo Barreto, Calixto Hope G. Lucas, Emily Chan, Melike Pekmezci, Philip E. Leboit, Thaddeus Mully, Arie Perry, Andrew Bollen, Jessica Van Ziffle, W. Patrick Devine, Alyssa T. ReddyNalin Gupta, Kristen M. Basnet, Robert J.B. Macaulay, Patrick Malafronte, Han Lee, William H. Yong, Kevin Jon Williams, Tareq A. Juratli, Douglas A. Mata, Richard S.P. Huang, Matthew C. Hiemenz, Dean C. Pavlick, Garrett M. Frampton, Tyler Janovitz, Jeffrey S. Ross, Susan M. Chang, Mitchel S. Berger, Line Jacques, Jun S. Song, Joseph F. Costello, David A. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Schwannomas are common peripheral nerve sheath tumors that can cause severe morbidity given their stereotypic intracranial and paraspinal locations. Similar to many solid tumors, schwannomas and other nerve sheath tumors are primarily thought to arise due to aberrant hyperactivation of the RAS growth factor signaling pathway. Here, we sought to further define the molecular pathogenesis of schwannomas. Methods: We performed comprehensive genomic profiling on a cohort of 96 human schwannomas, as well as DNA methylation profiling on a subset. Functional studies including RNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation-DNA sequencing, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and luciferase reporter assays were performed in a fetal glial cell model following transduction with wildtype and tumor-derived mutant isoforms of SOX10. Results: We identified that nearly one-third of sporadic schwannomas lack alterations in known nerve sheath tumor genes and instead harbor novel recurrent in-frame insertion/deletion mutations in SOX10, which encodes a transcription factor responsible for controlling Schwann cell differentiation and myelination. SOX10 indel mutations were highly enriched in schwannomas arising from nonvestibular cranial nerves (eg facial, trigeminal, vagus) and were absent from vestibular nerve schwannomas driven by NF2 mutation. Functional studies revealed these SOX10 indel mutations have retained DNA binding capacity but impaired transactivation of glial differentiation and myelination gene programs. Conclusions: We thus speculate that SOX10 indel mutations drive a unique subtype of schwannomas by impeding proper differentiation of immature Schwann cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2221-2236
Number of pages16
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • PMP2
  • SOX10
  • Schwann cell
  • myelination
  • schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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