Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Jan;16(1):43-55. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2015.1. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Somatic mosaicism: on the road to cancer.

Author information

1
Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre-CNIO, Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain.
2
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares-CNIC, Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain.
3
Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, and at the Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre-CNIO, 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Diversity is the basis of fitness selection. Although the genome of an individual is considered to be largely stable, there is theoretical and experimental evidence--both in model organisms and in humans--that genetic mosaicism is the rule rather than the exception. The continuous generation of cell variants, their interactions and selective pressures lead to life-long tissue dynamics. Individuals may thus enjoy 'clonal health', defined as a clonal composition that supports healthy morphology and physiology, or suffer from clonal configurations that promote disease, such as cancer. The contribution of mosaicism to these processes starts during embryonic development. In this Opinion article, we argue that the road to cancer might begin during these early stages.

PMID:
26678315
DOI:
10.1038/nrc.2015.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center