Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Team IDs 2 pathways through which chromosomes are rearranged

Discovery provides target to potentially halt the process, prevent cancers

Biologists reported today in Nature that they have identified two pathways through which chromosomes are rearranged in mammalian cells. These types of changes are associated with some cancers and inherited disorders in people.

"Our finding provides a target to prevent these rearrangements, so we could conceivably prevent cancer in some high-risk people," said senior author Edward P. (Paul) Hasty, D.V.M., of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Partial funding came from the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

The two pathways rearrange chromosomes by recombining DNA repeats that are naturally found in the genome, Dr. Hasty said. DNA, the chemical substance of genes, denatures and replicates during cell division and other processes. Repeats are sequences of DNA that are duplicated.

Both pathways are important for the synthesis of DNA. "Therefore, we propose that chromosomal rearrangements occur as DNA is being synthesized," Dr. Hasty said.

The experiments were conducted with mouse embryonic stem cells grown in tissue culture. The team measured the incidence of DNA repeats recombining in normal cells. This is called "repeat fusion." The scientists then looked for incidence of repeat fusion in cells affected by several genetic mutations. This analysis identified the two pathways and showed large, complicated rearrangements that involved DNA repeats on multiple chromosomes.

During cell division, DNA is coiled into pairs of threadlike structures called the chromosomes. Each human cell has 22 numbered pairs of chromosomes called autosomes. The sex chromosomes are the 23rd pair in cells and determine a person's gender. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have an X and a Y chromosome.

"We hope the new findings will help us better understand the mechanisms that cause chromosomal instability, which causes some cancers in people," Dr. Hasty said.

At the Health Science Center, Dr. Hasty is a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine, has a laboratory at the UT Institute of Biotechnology, and is a faculty member of the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1 RO1 CA123203-01A1 to Drs. Paul Hasty and Cristina Montagna, 2P01AG017242-12 to Dr. Hasty, P30CA013330 to Dr. Montagna) and with support from the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (P30 CA054174).

Two Replication Fork Maintenance Pathways Fuse Inverted Repeats to Rearrange Chromosomes

DOI: 10.1038/nature12500

Lingchuan Hu1, Tae Moon Kim1, Mi Young Son1, Sung-A Kim1, Cory L. Holland1, Satoshi Tateishi2, Dong Hyun Kim1, P. Renee Yew1, Cristina Montagna3, Lavinia C. Dumitrache1,4, and Paul Hasty1

1Department of Molecular Medicine/Institute of Biotechnology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 15355 Lambda Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78245-3207, USA

2Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics (IMEG), Kumamoto University, Honjo 2-2-1 Kumamoto 860-0811 Japan

3Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, N.Y. 10461

4Current address: Department of Genetics & Tumor Cell Biology, M/S 331, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105

News online

For current news from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, please visit our news release website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

Will Sansom | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>