Genome chaos, or karyotype chaos, represents a powerful survival strategy for somatic cells under high levels of stress/selection. Since the genome context, not the gene content, encodes the genomic blueprint of the cell, stress-induced rapid and massive reorganization of genome topology functions as a very important mechanism for genome (karyotype) evolution. In recent years, the phenomenon of genome chaos has been confirmed by various sequencing efforts, and many different terms have been coined to describe different subtypes of the chaotic genome including “chromothripsis,” “chromoplexy,” and “structural mutations.” To advance this exciting field, we need an effective experimental system to induce and characterize the karyotype reorganization process. In this chapter, an experimental protocol to induce chaotic genomes is described, following a brief discussion of the mechanism and implication of genome chaos in cancer evolution.
Chromosomal or karyotype coding Chromosome instability (CIN) Chromothripsis Genome chaos Genome theory Macro-cellular evolution Punctuated cancer evolution
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This manuscript is part of our series of publications on the subject of “the mechanisms of cancer and organismal evolution.” This work was also partially supported by the start-up fund for Christine J. Ye from the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Michigan. Thanks to Julie Heng for editing.
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