Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Cancer. 2019 Oct;5(10):619-631. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2019.08.006. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

R Loops and Their Composite Cancer Connections.

Author information

1
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
2
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
3
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address: pstirling@bccrc.ca.

Abstract

R loops are three-stranded nucleic acid structures consisting of an RNA molecule that has invaded duplex DNA. R-loop structures have normal functions in regulating gene expression, class-switch recombination, telomere stability, and mitochondrial DNA replication. However, unscheduled R-loop accumulation is a driver of DNA replication stress and genome instability. Meanwhile, R loops and associated transcription-replication conflicts have been observed in cells that have lost tumor-suppressor genes or have activated oncogenes. While ectopic R loops can both disrupt epigenetic states, and promote genome instability, in most cases the hinted-at direct links between R loops and cancer development are lacking. Here, we review the possible influences of altered R-loop stability and metabolism on cancer development and discuss how R-loop accumulation might be exploited to benefit cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

R loop; cancer; epigenome; replication stress; transcription–replication conflict

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center