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Mol Cell. 2001 Dec;8(6):1187-96.

Impaired nonhomologous end-joining provokes soft tissue sarcomas harboring chromosomal translocations, amplifications, and deletions.

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Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Although nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) deficiency has been shown to accelerate lymphoma formation in mice, its role in suppressing tumors in cells that do not undergo V(D)J recombination is unclear. Utilizing a tumor-prone mouse strain (ink4a/arf(-/-)), we examined the impact of haploinsufficiency of a NHEJ component, DNA ligase IV (Lig4), on murine tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that lig4 heterozygosity promotes the development of soft-tissue sarcomas that possess clonal amplifications, deletions, and translocations. That these genomic alterations are relevant in tumorigenesis is supported by the finding of frequent mdm2 amplification, a known oncogene in human sarcoma. Together, these findings support the view that loss of a single lig4 allele results in NHEJ activity being sufficiently reduced to engender chromosomal aberrations that drive non-lymphoid tumorigenesis.

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