Cutting Lecture on January 15, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021 Zoom 10:00 - 11:00 AM

The Department of Chemical and Systems Biology Presents

David Pellman, MD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Professor of Cell Biology, HMS
Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Talk Title: “Mechanisms driving rapid genome evolution”

Abstract: 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.

Reading Material:
Article: Mechanisms generating cancer genome complexity from a single cell division error. Umbreit NT, Zhang CZ, Lynch LD, et al. Science. 2020;368(6488):eaba0712. doi:10.1126/science.aba0712

Review: Rebuilding Chromosomes After Catastrophe: Emerging Mechanisms of Chromothripsis. Ly P, Cleveland DW.Trends Cell Biol. 2017;27(12):917-930. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2017.08.005

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