Author(s): Gandhi M, Dillon LW, Pramanik S, Nikiforov YE, Wang YH
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Human chromosomal fragile sites are regions of the genome that are prone to DNA breakage, and are classified as common or rare, depending on their frequency in the population. Common fragile sites frequently coincide with the location of genes involved in carcinogenic chromosomal translocations, suggesting their role in cancer formation. However, there has been no direct evidence linking breakage at fragile sites to the formation of a cancer-specific translocation. Here, we studied the involvement of fragile sites in the formation of RET/PTC rearrangements, which are frequently found in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). These rearrangements are commonly associated with radiation exposure; however, most of the tumors found in adults are not linked to radiation. In this study, we provide structural and biochemical evidence that the RET, CCDC6 and NCOA4 genes participating in two major types of RET/PTC rearrangements, are located in common fragile sites FRA10C and FRA10G, and undergo DNA breakage after exposure to fragile site-inducing chemicals. Moreover, exposure of human thyroid cells to these chemicals results in the formation of cancer-specific RET/PTC rearrangements. These results provide the direct evidence for the involvement of chromosomal fragile sites in the generation of cancer-specific rearrangements in human cells.
This article was published in Oncogene
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy