A catalogue of factors that help to keep the order of genes on chromosomes 'in their place' and so prevent genomic instability is revealed in Nature.
The human genome contains many types of repeated 'at risk' sequences that are inherently unstable and can undergo genomic rearrangements. The cell uses various proteins to ensure that such rearrangements do not occur often. Richard Kolodner and colleagues provide a comprehensive analysis of factors involved in suppressing large-scale chromosomal rearrangements.
They find, surprisingly, that these repetitive at-risk sequences use a pathway to suppress rearrangements that is distinct from that used to stabilize single-copy sequences. This study helps explain how genomes manage to remain stable despite containing many types of at-risk sequences.
Richard Kolodner (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, La Jolla, CA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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