Contributions of cytogenetics to cancer research
AbstractThe two conflicting visions of tumorigenesis that are widely discussed are the gene-mutation hypothesis and the aneuploidy hypothesis. In this review we will summarize the contributions of cytogenetics in the study of cancer cells and propose a hypothetical model to explain the influence of cytogenetic events in carcinogenesis, emphasizing the role of aneuploidy. The gene mutation hypothesis states that gene-specific mutations occur and that they maintain the altered phenotype of the tumor cells, and the aneuploidy hypothesis states that aneuploidy is necessary and sufficient for the initiation and progression of malignant transformation. Aneuploidy is a hallmark of cancer and plays an important role in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Aneuploid cells might be derived from polyploid cells, which can arise spontaneously or are induced by environmental agents or chemical compounds, and the genetic instability observed in polyploid cells leads to chromosomal losses or rearrangements, resulting in variable aberrant karyotypes. Because of the large amount of evidence indicating that the correct chromosomal balance is crucial to cancer development, cytogenetic techniques are important tools for both basic research, such as elucidating carcinogenesis, and applied research, such as diagnosis, prognosis and selection of treatment. The combination of classic cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics and molecular genetics is essential and can generate a vast amount of data, enhancing our knowledge of cancer biology and improving treatment of this disease.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Robson José de Oliveira-Junior, Luiz Ricardo Goulart Filho, Luciana Machado Bastos, Dhiego de Deus Alves, Sabrina Vaz dos Santos e Silva, Sandra Morelli
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