Nov 7, 2019

Mechanisms Generating Cancer Genome Complexity From A Single Cell Division Error

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Neil UmbreitDavid Pellman


The chromosome breakage-fusion-bridge (BFB) cycle is a mutational process that produces gene amplification and genome instability. Signatures of BFB cycles can be observed in cancer genomes with chromothripsis, another catastrophic mutational process. Here, we explain this association by identifying a mutational cascade downstream of chromosome bridge formation that generates increasing amounts of chromothripsis. We uncover a new role for actomyosin forces in bridge breakage and mutagenesis. Chromothripsis then accumulates starting with aberrant interphase replication of bridge DNA, followed by an unexpected burst of mitotic DNA replication, generating extensive DNA damage. Bridge formation also disrupts the centromeric epigenetic mark, leading to micronucleus formation that itself promotes chromothripsis. We show that this mutational cascade generates the continuing evolution and sub-clonal heterogeneity characteristic of many human cancers.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Amplification
Cell Division
Virus Replication
Chromosome Breakage
Genomic Instability

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