De S, Michor F. 2011. DNA replication timing and long-range DNA interactions predict mutational landscapes of cancer genomes. Nature biotechnology. 29(12):1103-8. Pubmed: 22101487 DOI:10.1038/nbt.2030


Somatic copy-number alterations (SCNA) are a hallmark of many cancer types, but the mechanistic basis underlying their genome-wide patterns remains incompletely understood. Here we integrate data on DNA replication timing, long-range interactions between genomic material, and 331,724 SCNAs from 2,792 cancer samples classified into 26 cancer types. We report that genomic regions of similar replication timing are clustered spatially in the nucleus, that the two boundaries of SCNAs tend to be found in such regions, and that regions replicated early and late display distinct patterns of frequencies of SCNA boundaries, SCNA size and a preference for deletions over insertions. We show that long-range interaction and replication timing data alone can identify a significant proportion of SCNAs in an independent test data set. We propose a model for the generation of SCNAs in cancer, suggesting that data on spatial proximity of regions replicating at the same time can be used to predict the mutational landscapes of cancer genomes.

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Franziska Michor uses the tools of theoretical evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, statistics, and computational biology to address important questions in cancer research.

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