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Stress-Induced Mutagenesis: Implications in Cancer and Drug Resistance

Stress-Induced Mutagenesis: Implications in Cancer and Drug Resistance Genomic instability underlies many cancers and generates genetic variation that drives cancer initiation, progression, and therapy resistance. In contrast with classical assumptions that mutations occur purely stochastically at constant, gradual rates, microbes, plants, flies, and human cancer cells possess mechanisms of mutagenesis that are upregulated by stress responses. These generate transient, genetic-diversity bursts that can propel evolution, specifically when cells are poorly adapted to their environments—that is, when stressed. We review molecular mechanisms of stress-response-dependent (stress-induced) mutagenesis that occur from bacteria to cancer, and are activated by starvation, drugs, hypoxia, and other stressors. We discuss mutagenic DNA break repair in Escherichia coli as a model for mechanisms in cancers. The temporal regulation of mutagenesis by stress responses and spatial restriction in genomes are common themes across the tree of life. Both can accelerate evolution, including the evolution of cancers. We discuss possible anti-evolvability drugs, aimed at targeting mutagenesis and other variation generators, that could be used to delay the evolution of cancer progression and therapy resistance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Cancer Biology Annual Reviews

Stress-Induced Mutagenesis: Implications in Cancer and Drug Resistance

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
2472-3428
eISSN
2472-3428
DOI
10.1146/annurev-cancerbio-050216-121919
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Genomic instability underlies many cancers and generates genetic variation that drives cancer initiation, progression, and therapy resistance. In contrast with classical assumptions that mutations occur purely stochastically at constant, gradual rates, microbes, plants, flies, and human cancer cells possess mechanisms of mutagenesis that are upregulated by stress responses. These generate transient, genetic-diversity bursts that can propel evolution, specifically when cells are poorly adapted to their environments—that is, when stressed. We review molecular mechanisms of stress-response-dependent (stress-induced) mutagenesis that occur from bacteria to cancer, and are activated by starvation, drugs, hypoxia, and other stressors. We discuss mutagenic DNA break repair in Escherichia coli as a model for mechanisms in cancers. The temporal regulation of mutagenesis by stress responses and spatial restriction in genomes are common themes across the tree of life. Both can accelerate evolution, including the evolution of cancers. We discuss possible anti-evolvability drugs, aimed at targeting mutagenesis and other variation generators, that could be used to delay the evolution of cancer progression and therapy resistance.

Journal

Annual Review of Cancer BiologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Mar 6, 2017

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