The nuclear deubiquitinase BAP1 is commonly inactivated by somatic mutations and 3p21.1 losses in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Malignant pleural mesotheliomas (MPMs) often show CDKN2A and NF2 inactivation, but other highly recurrent mutations have not been described. To identify additional driver genes, we used an integrated genomic analysis of 53 MPM tumor samples to guide a focused sequencing effort that uncovered somatic inactivating mutations in BAP1 in 23% of MPMs. The BAP1 nuclear deubiquitinase is known to target histones (together with ASXL1 as a Polycomb repressor subunit) and the HCF1 transcriptional co-factor, and we show that BAP1 knockdown in MPM cell lines affects E2F and Polycomb target genes. These findings implicate transcriptional deregulation in the pathogenesis of MPM.