Author(s): Zhang Y, Moriguchi H
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Abstract The cancer cell attractors theory provides a next-generation understanding of carcinogenesis and natural explanation of punctuated clonal expansions of tumor progression. The impressive notion of atavism of cancer is now updated but more evidence is awaited. Besides, the mechanisms that the ectopic expression of some germline genes result in somatic tumors such as melanoma and brain tumors are emerging but are not well understood. Cancer could be triggered by cells undergoing abnormal cell attractor transitions, and may be reversible with "cyto-education". From mammals to model organisms like Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, the versatile Mi-2β/nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylation complexes along with their functionally related chromatin remodeling complexes (CRCs), i.e., the dREAM/Myb-MuvB complex and Polycomb group complex are likely master regulators of cell attractors. The trajectory that benign cells switch to cancerous could be the reverse of navigation of embryonic cells converging from a series of intermediate transcriptional states to a final adult state, which is supported by gene expression dynamics inspector assays and some cross-species genetic evidence. The involvement of CRCs in locking cancer attractors may help find the recipes of perturbing genes to achieve successful reprogramming such that the reprogrammed cancer cell function in the same way as the normal cells.
This article was published in Cell Mol Life Sci
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering