Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide, with an estimated 1.4 million deaths each year. Here we report whole-exome sequencing of nine tumor/normal tissue pairs from Chinese patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). This allows us to identify a number of significantly mutated genes in NSCLC, which were highly enriched in DNA damage repair, NF-κ B pathway, JAK/STAT signaling and chromatin modification. Notably, we identify a histone-lysine methyltransferase gene, namely, MLL2, as one of the most significantly mutated genes in our screen. In a following validation study, we identify deleterious mutations of MLL2 in 12 out of 105 (11.4%) NSCLC patients. Additionally, reduced or lost expression of MLL2 was commonly observed in tumor tissues as compared with paired adjacent non-tumor tissues regardless of mutation status. Together, our study defines the landscape of somatic mutations in Chinese NSCLC and supports the role of MLL2 mutation in the pathogenesis of the disease.
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