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Keywords:

  • Epigenetics;
  • Checkpoint controls;
  • Re-replication;
  • G2/M cells;
  • Mitosis;
  • Endopolyploidy

Abstract

The near-senescence associated phenomena of increases in cells with chromosomal damage (CIN) and in endopolyploid mitotic cells were analyzed for possible inter-relationships by cytogenetics. Gross chromosomal abnormalities in all phases of mitosis were analyzed in situ. Hetrochromatization of telomeres, centromeres and interstitial chromatin regions (i.e., chromocenters/SAHF) were shown to be specific occurrences in the near-senescent phase. Stickiness between such chromatin regions caused breakage/fragmentation by anaphase-pulls on clumped chromosomes. Gluey heterochromatin is therefore, seen as a cause of CIN in near-senescence. Detrimental effects on chromosomes from heterochromatin have been observed for decades, and can be explained from chromatin remodeling in epigenetics. A consequence of genomic damage was re-replication to polyploidy of arrest-escaped cells with G2/M-DNA content. This second synthetic period produced diplochromosomal cells that cycled by bi-polar division into genome reduced cells. This sequence from h-chromatization to CIN and further to cycling endopolyploidy is believed to be a basic mechanism for the production of genetic variability in neoplasia.