Genomic Chaos Offers Insights into Therapeutic Option for Particular Cancers

November 29, 2018

Chromothripsis is a devastating genetic event that occurs when portions of an individual’s chromosome “shatter” into many pieces, however can not reconnect correctly. This event occurs in about 20-30% of all cancers, and often results in lost, duplicated or misaligned DNA. Researchers in Germany have now gained insights into the mechanism for this occurrence which suggests failure of the cell’s DNA repair machinery as well as overexpression of the Myc oncogene.

Previous research has observed chromothripsis in aggressive childhood brain tumors, however the reason for this event has yet to be understood. In a majority of cases, gene chaos occurred alongside Myc oncogene amplification. The results of this experiment concluded that Myc amplification wasn’t only consequential to DNA repair inactivation but may play a causal role in the development of genome rearrangements.

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