Somatic Genome Variations in Health and Disease

Author(s): I. Y. Iourov, S. G. Vorsanova, Y. B. Yurov

Journal Name: Current Genomics

Volume 11 , Issue 6 , 2010

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It is hard to imagine that all the cells of the human organism (about 1014) share identical genome. Moreover, the number of mitoses (about 1016) required for the organisms development and maturation during ontogeny suggests that at least a proportion of them could be abnormal leading, thereby, to large-scale genomic alterations in somatic cells. Experimental data do demonstrate such genomic variations to exist and to be involved in human development and interindividual genetic variability in health and disease. However, since current genomic technologies are mainly based on methods, which analyze genomes from a large pool of cells, intercellular or somatic genome variations are significantly less appreciated in modern bioscience. Here, a review of somatic genome variations occurring at all levels of genome organization (i.e. DNA sequence, subchromosomal and chromosomal) in health and disease is presented. Looking through the available literature, it was possible to show that the somatic cell genome is extremely variable. Additionally, being mainly associated with chromosome or genome instability (most commonly manifesting as aneuploidy), somatic genome variations are involved in pathogenesis of numerous human diseases. The latter mainly concerns diseases of the brain (i.e. autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimers disease) and immune system (autoimmune diseases), chromosomal and some monogenic syndromes, cancers, infertility and prenatal mortality. Taking into account data on somatic genome variations and chromosome instability, it becomes possible to show that related processes can underlie non-malignant pathology such as (neuro)degeneration or other local tissue dysfunctions. Together, we suggest that detection and characterization of somatic genome behavior and variations can provide new opportunities for human genome research and genetics.

Keywords: Somatic genome variations, aneuploidy, chromosome instability, genomic instability, disease

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [387 - 396]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/138920210793176065
Price: $65

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