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Stevens J.B.,Wayne State University | Abdallah B.Y.,Wayne State University | Liu G.,Wayne State University | Horne S.D.,Wayne State University | And 6 more authors.
Cytogenetic and Genome Research | Year: 2013

Cell death constitutes a number of heterogeneous processes. Despite the dynamic nature of cell death, studies of cell death have primarily focused on apoptosis, and cell death has often been viewed as static events occurring in linear pathways. In this article we review cell death heterogeneity with specific focus on 4 aspects of cell death: the type of cell death; how it is induced; its mechanism(s); the results of cell death, and the implications of cell death heterogeneity for both basic and clinical research. This specifically reveals that cell death occurs in multiple overlapping forms that simultaneously occur within a population. Network and pathway heterogeneity in cell death is also discussed. Failure to integrate cell death heterogeneity within analyses can lead to inaccurate predictions of the amount of cell death that takes place in a tumor. Similarly, many molecular methods employed in cell death studies homogenize a population removing heterogeneity between individual cells and can be deceiving. Finally, and most importantly, cell death heterogeneity is linked to the formation of new genome systems through induction of aneuploidy and genome chaos (rapid genome reorganization). Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Heng H.H.,Wayne State University | Liu G.,Wayne State University | Stevens J.B.,Wayne State University | Bremer S.W.,Wayne State University | And 2 more authors.
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2010

Based on the gene and pathway centric concept of cancer, current approaches to cancer drug treatment have been focused on key molecular targets specific and essential for cancer progression and drug resistance. This approach appears promising in many experimental models but unfortunately has not worked well in the vast majority of cancers in clinical settings. Many new proposals, based on the same rationale of identifying a "magic bullet" are emerging now that target the epigenetic level as well as some other new targets including metabolic regulation, genetic instability and tumor environments. In spite of the optimism resulting from these new approaches there is still a key challenge that remains regarding cancer drug therapy in the form of multiple levels of genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity. Using the recently formulated genome theory, the importance of bio-heterogeneity and its complex relationships between different levels has been discussed and in particular, the concept and methods used to monitor and target genome level heterogeneity. By briefly mentioning some newly introduced treatment options, this review further discusses the common challenges for the field as well as possible future directions of research. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Liu G.,Wayne State University | Stevens J.B.,Wayne State University | Horne S.D.,Wayne State University | Abdallah B.Y.,Wayne State University | And 5 more authors.
Cell Cycle | Year: 2014

Genome chaos, a process of complex, rapid genome re-organization, results in the formation of chaotic genomes, which is followed by the potential to establish stable genomes. It was initially detected through cytogenetic analyses, and recently confirmed by whole-genome sequencing efforts which identified multiple subtypes including "chromothripsis", "chromoplexy", "chromoanasynthesis", and "chromoanagenesis". Although genome chaos occurs commonly in tumors, both the mechanism and detailed aspects of the process are unknown due to the inability of observing its evolution over time in clinical samples. Here, an experimental system to monitor the evolutionary process of genome chaos was developed to elucidate its mechanisms. Genome chaos occurs following exposure to chemotherapeutics with different mechanisms, which act collectively as stressors. Characterization of the karyotype and its dynamic changes prior to, during, and after induction of genome chaos demonstrates that chromosome fragmentation (C-Frag) occurs just prior to chaotic genome formation. Chaotic genomes seem to form by random rejoining of chromosomal fragments, in part through non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Stress induced genome chaos results in increased karyotypic heterogeneity. Such increased evolutionary potential is demonstrated by the identification of increased transcriptome dynamics associated with high levels of karyotypic variance. In contrast to impacting on a limited number of cancer genes, re-organized genomes lead to new system dynamics essential for cancer evolution. Genome chaos acts as a mechanism of rapid, adaptive, genome-based evolution that plays an essential role in promoting rapid macroevolution of new genome-defined systems during crisis, which may explain some unwanted consequences of cancer treatment. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.

Heng H.H.Q.,Wayne State University | Heng H.H.Q.,Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute | Liu G.,Wayne State University | Stevens J.B.,Wayne State University | And 6 more authors.
Cytogenetic and Genome Research | Year: 2013

In a departure from traditional gene-centric thinking with regard to cytogenetics and cytogenomics, the recently introduced genome theory calls upon a re-focusing of our attention on karyotype analyses of disease conditions. Karyotype heterogeneity has been demonstrated to be directly involved in the somatic cell evolution process which is the basis of many common and complex diseases such as cancer. To correctly use karyotype heterogeneity and apply it to monitor system instability, we need to include many seemingly unimportant non-specific chromosomal aberrations into our analysis. Traditionally, cytogenetic analysis has been focused on identifying recurrent types of abnormalities, particularly those that have been linked to specific diseases. In this perspective, drawing on the new framework of 4D-genomics, we will briefly review the importance of studying karyotype heterogeneity. We have also listed a number of overlooked chromosomal aberrations including defective mitotic figures, chromosome fragmentation as well as genome chaos. Finally, we call for the systematic discovery/characterization and classification of karyotype abnormalities in human diseases, as karyotype heterogeneity is the common factor that is essential for somatic cell evolution. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Heng H.H.,Wayne State University | Bremer S.W.,Wayne State University | Stevens J.B.,Wayne State University | Horne S.D.,Wayne State University | And 4 more authors.
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews | Year: 2013

Results of various cancer genome sequencing projects have "unexpectedly" challenged the framework of the current somatic gene mutation theory of cancer. The prevalence of diverse genetic heterogeneity observed in cancer questions the strategy of focusing on contributions of individual gene mutations. Much of the genetic heterogeneity in tumors is due to chromosomal instability (CIN), a predominant hallmark of cancer. Multiple molecular mechanisms have been attributed to CIN but unifying these often conflicting mechanisms into one general mechanism has been challenging. In this review, we discuss multiple aspects of CIN including its definitions, methods of measuring, and some common misconceptions. We then apply the genome-based evolutionary theory to propose a general mechanism for CIN to unify the diverse molecular causes. In this new evolutionary framework, CIN represents a system behavior of a stress response with adaptive advantages but also serves as a new potential cause of further destabilization of the genome. Following a brief review about the newly realized functions of chromosomes that defines system inheritance and creates new genomes, we discuss the ultimate importance of CIN in cancer evolution. Finally, a number of confusing issues regarding CIN are explained in light of the evolutionary function of CIN. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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