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Chromosomal instability drives metastasis through a cytosolic DNA response

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2020, 12:31 by Samuel F Bakhoum, Bryan Ngo, Ashley M Laughney, Julie-Ann Cavallo, Charles J Murphy, Peter Ly, Pragya Shah, Roshan K Sriram, Thomas BK Watkins, Neil K Taunk, Mercedes Duran, Chantal Pauli, Christine Shaw, Kalyani Chadalavada, Vinagolu K Rajasekhar, Giulio Genovese, Subramanian Venkatesan, Nicolai J Birkbak, Nicholas McGranahan, Mark Lundquist, Quincey LaPlant, John H Healey, Olivier Elemento, Christine H Chung, Nancy Y Lee, Marcin Imielenski, Gouri Nanjangud, Dana Pe'er, Don W Cleveland, Simon N Powell, Jan Lammerding, Charles Swanton, Lewis C Cantley
Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of cancer that results from ongoing errors in chromosome segregation during mitosis. Although chromosomal instability is a major driver of tumour evolution, its role in metastasis has not been established. Here we show that chromosomal instability promotes metastasis by sustaining a tumour cell-autonomous response to cytosolic DNA. Errors in chromosome segregation create a preponderance of micronuclei whose rupture spills genomic DNA into the cytosol. This leads to the activation of the cGAS-STING (cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes) cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway and downstream noncanonical NF-κB signalling. Genetic suppression of chromosomal instability markedly delays metastasis even in highly aneuploid tumour models, whereas continuous chromosome segregation errors promote cellular invasion and metastasis in a STING-dependent manner. By subverting lethal epithelial responses to cytosolic DNA, chromosomally unstable tumour cells co-opt chronic activation of innate immune pathways to spread to distant organs.

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