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Modelling chromosome structural and copy number changes to understand cancer genomes

Maja Kneissig, Sara Bernhard, Zuzana Storchova
Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 2019 March 25, 54: 25-32
Cancer cells differ from healthy cells by genetic information that is massively altered not only by point mutations and small insertions and deletions, but also by large scale changes such as chromosomal rearrangements as well as gains and losses of individual chromosomes or entire chromosome sets. How exactly large-scale chromosomal abnormalities contribute to tumorigenesis has been difficult to study. Remarkable progress has been recently made thanks to in vitro models that mimic large-scale chromosomal aberrations and allow their systematic analysis. The obtained findings reveal that genomic alterations strongly affect the cellular physiology and, importantly, instigate further genomic instability. This suggests that these model systems might provide novel insights by recapitulating the processes that occur during tumorigenesis.


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