How Genome Doubling Helps Cancer Develop

How Genome Doubling Helps Cancer Develop

Chromosomes in Cells With Whole Genome Doubling

Chromosomes in cells with whole genome doubling. Credit: Elisa Oricchio/Giovanni Ciriello (EPFL/UNIL)

A single cell holds 2-3 meters of DNA, necessitating a compact storage method. This is achieved through chromatin, a complex formed by DNA coiled around proteins called histones. In three-dimensional space, chromatin is intricately folded into a multi-layered organization consisting of loops, domains, and compartments, ultimately forming chromosomes. The structure of chromatin is closely tied to gene expression and optimal cellular function; therefore, any disruptions in chromatin organization can lead to serious consequences, including the onset of cancer.

“Whole genome doubling (WGD)”, a process where an entire set of chromosomes within a cell is duplicated, occurs in approximately 30% of all human cancers. This event causes genomic instability within the cell, potentially leading to chromosomal changes and other mutations that contribute to cancer development.

Now, a team of researchers led by Elisa Oricchio at EPFL and Giovanni

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