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Article

Genomic Instability Profiles at the Single Cell Level in Mouse Colorectal Cancers of Defined Genotypes

1
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
2
Cancer Stem Cell Laboratory, Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), ISREC, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
3
Division of Cancer & Stem Cells, School of Medicine, Centre for Cancer Sciences, Biodiscovery Institute, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Ried
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061267
Received: 28 February 2021 / Revised: 8 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stemness and Differentiation in Cancer)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality; it typically originates as adenomas that progress over time to carcinomas. We decided to investigate the accumulation of numerous genomic alterations during tumour progression by using a mouse model with three different targetable alleles that can be found in human colorectal cancers. We conclude that the rate of accumulation of SNSs is higher in transformed compared to non-transformed cells, and that it is unaffected by the number of cancer-driver genes that are active in the tumour.
The genomes of many human CRCs have been sequenced, revealing a large number of genetic alterations. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the accumulation of these alterations are still being debated. In this study, we examined colorectal tumours that developed in mice with Apclox/lox, LSL-KrasG12D, and Tp53lox/lox targetable alleles. Organoids were derived from single cells and the spectrum of mutations was determined by exome sequencing. The number of single nucleotide substitutions (SNSs) correlated with the age of the tumour, but was unaffected by the number of targeted cancer-driver genes. Thus, tumours that expressed mutant Apc, Kras, and Tp53 alleles had as many SNSs as tumours that expressed only mutant Apc. In contrast, the presence of large-scale (>10 Mb) copy number alterations (CNAs) correlated strongly with Tp53 inactivation. Comparison of the SNSs and CNAs present in organoids derived from the same tumour revealed intratumoural heterogeneity consistent with genomic lesions accumulating at significantly higher rates in tumour cells compared to normal cells. The rate of acquisition of SNSs increased from the early stages of cancer development, whereas large-scale CNAs accumulated later, after Tp53 inactivation. Thus, a significant fraction of the genomic instability present in cancer cells cannot be explained by aging processes occurring in normal cells before oncogenic transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: colorectal cancer; single cell; genomic instability; exome sequencing; mouse models; cancer drivers; single nucleotide variants; copy number alterations; mutational signature; organoids colorectal cancer; single cell; genomic instability; exome sequencing; mouse models; cancer drivers; single nucleotide variants; copy number alterations; mutational signature; organoids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dionellis, V.S.; Norkin, M.; Karamichali, A.; Rossetti, G.G.; Huelsken, J.; Ordonez-Moran, P.; Halazonetis, T.D. Genomic Instability Profiles at the Single Cell Level in Mouse Colorectal Cancers of Defined Genotypes. Cancers 2021, 13, 1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061267

AMA Style

Dionellis VS, Norkin M, Karamichali A, Rossetti GG, Huelsken J, Ordonez-Moran P, Halazonetis TD. Genomic Instability Profiles at the Single Cell Level in Mouse Colorectal Cancers of Defined Genotypes. Cancers. 2021; 13(6):1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061267

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dionellis, Vasilis S., Maxim Norkin, Angeliki Karamichali, Giacomo G. Rossetti, Joerg Huelsken, Paloma Ordonez-Moran, and Thanos D. Halazonetis 2021. "Genomic Instability Profiles at the Single Cell Level in Mouse Colorectal Cancers of Defined Genotypes" Cancers 13, no. 6: 1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061267

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