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Role of extra chromosomes reconsidered

Tumor cell proliferation may not be due to aneuploidy, according to new study

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Cells containing extra copies of chromosomes exhibit slowed proliferation regardless of what chromosome is affected, according to a new study of yeast cells published in Science this week. The results may help researchers better understand and target tumor cells, which are characterized by rapid proliferation and changed chromosome numbers - a condition known as aneuploidy."One very interesting thing, which you wouldn't necessarily have expected to be the case, is this common set of phenotypes that has come out from all these different aneuploid strains," said Mike Tyers of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto, who was not involved in the study.Angleika Amon and her team found that aneuploid yeast cells suffer a suite of disadvantageous physiological traits, suggesting that it is the cell's physiological reaction to having extra chromosomes, rather than the extra chromosomes themselves, that the cause cancer cells' unchecked growth. Researchers have long postulated that extra...

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