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Cancer Res. 2003 Dec 15;63(24):8634-47.

Karyotypic complexity of the NCI-60 drug-screening panel.

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Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20889-5105, USA.


We used spectral karyotyping to provide a detailed analysis of karyotypic aberrations in the diverse group of cancer cell lines established by the National Cancer Institute for the purpose of anticancer drug discovery. Along with the karyotypic description of these cell lines we defined and studied karyotypic complexity and heterogeneity (metaphase-to-metaphase variations) based on three separate components of genomic anatomy: (a) ploidy; (b) numerical changes; and (c) structural rearrangements. A wide variation in these parameters was evident in these cell lines, and different association patterns between them were revealed. Analysis of the breakpoints and other specific features of chromosomal changes across the entire set of cell lines or within particular lineages pointed to a striking lability of centromeric regions that distinguishes the epithelial tumor cell lines. We have also found that balanced translocations are as frequent in absolute number within the cell lines derived from solid as from hematopoietic tumors. Important similarities were noticed between karyotypic changes in cancer cell lines and that seen in primary tumors. This dataset offers insights into the causes and consequences of the destabilizing events and chromosomal instability that may occur during tumor development and progression. It also provides a foundation for investigating associations between structural genome anatomy and cancer molecular markers and targets, gene expression, gene dosage, and resistance or sensitivity to tens of thousands of molecular compounds.

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