Research Papers:

Identification of genes that are essential to restrict genome duplication to once per cell division

Alex Vassilev _, Chrissie Y. Lee, Boris Vassilev, Wenge Zhu, Pinar Ormanoglu, Scott E. Martin and Melvin L. DePamphilis

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:34956-34976. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9008

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Alex Vassilev1, Chrissie Y. Lee1,2, Boris Vassilev1, Wenge Zhu3, Pinar Ormanoglu4, Scott E. Martin4,5, Melvin L. DePamphilis1

1National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2753, USA

2Current address: NantBioscience, Culver City, CA 90232, USA

3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, George Washington University, Washington DC 20037, USA

4National Center of Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

5Current Address: Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA

Correspondence to:

Melvin L. DePamphilis, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA re-replication, endoreplication, cell cycle regulation, aneuploidy, polyploidy

Received: February 26, 2016     Accepted: April 07, 2016     Published: April 26, 2016


Nuclear genome duplication is normally restricted to once per cell division, but aberrant events that allow excess DNA replication (EDR) promote genomic instability and aneuploidy, both of which are characteristics of cancer development. Here we provide the first comprehensive identification of genes that are essential to restrict genome duplication to once per cell division. An siRNA library of 21,584 human genes was screened for those that prevent EDR in cancer cells with undetectable chromosomal instability. Candidates were validated by testing multiple siRNAs and chemical inhibitors on both TP53+ and TP53- cells to reveal the relevance of this ubiquitous tumor suppressor to preventing EDR, and in the presence of an apoptosis inhibitor to reveal the full extent of EDR. The results revealed 42 genes that prevented either DNA re-replication or unscheduled endoreplication. All of them participate in one or more of eight cell cycle events. Seventeen of them have not been identified previously in this capacity. Remarkably, 14 of the 42 genes have been shown to prevent aneuploidy in mice. Moreover, suppressing a gene that prevents EDR increased the ability of the chemotherapeutic drug Paclitaxel to induce EDR, suggesting new opportunities for synthetic lethalities in the treatment of human cancers.

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