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Adv Cancer Res. 2012;113:241-79. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394280-7.00015-4.

Molecular logic underlying chromosomal translocations, random or non-random?

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA.


Chromosomal translocations serve as essential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for leukemia, lymphoma, and many types of solid tumors. Understanding the mechanisms of chromosomal translocation generation has remained a central biological question for decades. Rather than representing a random event, recent studies indicate that chromosomal translocation is a non-random event in a spatially regulated, site-specific, and signal-driven manner, reflecting actions involved in transcriptional activation, epigenetic regulation, three-dimensional nuclear architecture, and DNA damage-repair. In this review, we will focus on the progression toward understanding the molecular logic underlying chromosomal translocation events and implications of new strategies for preventing chromosomal translocations.

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