Indexed on: 16 Feb '05Published on: 16 Feb '05Published in: Nature Genetics
Breakage-fusion-bridge cycles contribute to chromosome instability and generate large DNA palindromes that facilitate gene amplification in human cancers. The prevalence of large DNA palindromes in cancer is not known. Here, by using a new microarray-based approach called genome-wide analysis of palindrome formation, we show that palindromes occur frequently and are widespread in human cancers. Individual tumors seem to have a nonrandom distribution of palindromes in their genomes, and a subset of palindromic loci is associated with gene amplification. This indicates that the location of palindromes in the cancer genome can serve as a structural platform that supports subsequent gene amplification. Genome-wide analysis of palindrome formation is a new approach to identify structural chromosome aberrations associated with cancer.