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J Cell Biol. 2008 Feb 25;180(4):661-3. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200801030. Epub 2008 Feb 18.

The wages of CIN.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Aneuploidy and chromosome instability (CIN) are hallmarks of the majority of solid tumors, but the relationship between them is not well understood. In this issue, Thompson and Compton (Thompson, S.L., and D.A. Compton. 2008. Examining the link between chromosomal instability and aneuploidy in human cells. J. Cell. Biol. 180:665-672) investigate the mechanism of CIN in cancer cells and find that CIN arises primarily from defective kinetochore-spindle attachments that evade detection by the spindle checkpoint and persist into anaphase. They also explore the consequences of artificially elevating chromosome missegregation in otherwise karyotypically normal cells. Their finding that induced aneuploidy is rapidly selected against suggests that the persistence of aneuploid cells in tumors requires not only chromosome missegregation but also additional, as yet poorly defined events.

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