Research Papers:

Chimeric chromosome landscapes of human somatic cell cultures show dependence on stress and regulation of genomic repeats by CGGBP1

Subhamoy Datta, Manthan Patel, Sukesh Kashyap, Divyesh Patel and Umashankar Singh _

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Oncotarget. 2022; 13:136-155. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28174

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Subhamoy Datta1, Manthan Patel1,2, Sukesh Kashyap1, Divyesh Patel1,3 and Umashankar Singh1

1 HoMeCell Lab, Discipline of Biological Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382355, India

2 Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 2AD, UK

3 Current address: Research Programs Unit, Applied Tumor Genomics Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Biomedicum, Helsinki 00290, Finland

Correspondence to:

Umashankar Singh, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CGGBP1; non-homologous chromosomal chimeras; methylation; heat stress; repeats

Received: November 08, 2021     Accepted: December 20, 2021     Published: January 17, 2022

Copyright: © 2022 Datta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Genomes of somatic cells in culture are prone to spontaneous mutations due to errors in replication and DNA repair. Some of these errors, such as chromosomal fusions, are not rectifiable and subject to selection or elimination in growing cultures. Somatic cell cultures are thus expected to generate background levels of potentially stable chromosomal chimeras. A description of the landscape of such spontaneously generated chromosomal chimeras in cultured cells will help understand the factors affecting somatic mosaicism. Here we show that short homology-associated non-homologous chromosomal chimeras occur in normal human fibroblasts and HEK293T cells at genomic repeats. The occurrence of chromosomal chimeras is enhanced by heat stress and depletion of a repeat regulatory protein CGGBP1. We also present evidence of homologous chromosomal chimeras between allelic copies in repeat-rich DNA obtained by methylcytosine immunoprecipitation. The formation of homologous chromosomal chimeras at Alu and L1 repeats increases upon depletion of CGGBP1. Our data are derived from de novo sequencing from three different cell lines under different experimental conditions and our chromosomal chimera detection pipeline is applicable to long as well as short read sequencing platforms. These findings present significant information about the generation, sensitivity and regulation of somatic mosaicism in human cell cultures.

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