SBS5 · GRCh37 · COSMIC v94

Mutational profile

Mutational profile using the conventional 96 mutation type classification. This classification is based on the six substitution subtypes: C>A, C>G, C>T, T>A, T>C, and T>G, as well as the nucleotides immediately 5’ and 3’ to the mutation.

Each of the substitutions is referred to by the pyrimidine of the mutated Watson—Crick base pair. Incorporating information on the bases immediately 5’ and 3’ to each mutated base generates 96 possible mutation types (6 types of substitution x 4 types of 5’ base x 4 types of 3’ base). Mutational signatures are displayed and reported based on the observed trinucleotide frequency of the genome, i.e., representing the relative proportions of mutations generated by each signature based on the actual trinucleotide frequencies of the corresponding reference genome.


Genome: GRCh37

Proposed aetiology

Unknown. SBS5 mutational burden is increased in bladder cancer samples with ERCC2 mutations and in many cancer types due to tobacco smoking.


SBS5 is clock-like in that the number of mutations in most cancers and normal cells correlates with the age of the individual. Rates of acquisition of SBS5 mutations over time differ between different cancer types and different normal cell types. These differences do not clearly correlate with estimated rates of stem cell division in different tissues nor with differences in SBS1 mutation rates. SBS5 may be contaminated by SBS16.

Acceptance criteria

Summary of the technical and experimental evidence available in the scientific literature regarding the validation of the mutational signature.

Supporting evidence for mutational signature validity

Validated evidence for real signature
Unclear evidence for real signature
Evidence for artefact signature
Background Identification study First included in COSMIC
Alexandrov et al. 2013 Nature v1
Identification NGS technique Different variant callers Multiple sequencing centres
WES & WGS Yes Yes
Technical validation Validated in orthogonal techniques Replicated in additional studies Extended context enrichment
Yes Yes -
Proposed aetiology Mutational process Support
Aging / Tobacco smoking / NER deficiency Age correlation (age) / Statistical association (tobacco, NER deficiency in bladder cancer)
Experimental validation Experimental study Species
- -

Tissue distribution

Numbers of mutations per megabase attributed to the mutational signature across the cancer types in which the signature was found. Each dot represents an individual sample and only samples where the signature is found are shown. The number of mutations per megabase was calculated by assuming that an average whole-exome has 30 Mb with sufficient coverage, whereas an average whole-genome has 2,800 Mb with sufficient coverage.

The numbers below the dots for each cancer type indicate the number of high confidence tumours in which at least 10 mutations were attributed to the signature (above the blue horizontal line) and the total number of high confidence tumours analysed (below the blue horizontal line). Only high confidence data are displayed: samples with reconstruction accuracy >0.90. The number of mutations per megabase was calculated by assuming that an average exome has 30 Mb with sufficient coverage, whereas an average whole genome has 2,800 Mb with sufficient coverage.


Transcriptional strand bias

Transcriptional strand bias for T>C substitutions at ATN context with more mutated A than T bases on the untranscribed strands of genes compatible with damage to adenine and activity of transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair.


Differences between current and previous profiles

The profile of SBS5 exhibits less contamination by SBS1. The cosine similarity between the prior and current versions of SBS5 is 0.96.


Genome: GRCh37