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  • Tguiko, Olga; Jatsenko, Tatjana; Grace, Lalit Kumar Parameswaran; Kurg, Ants; Vermeesch, Joris Robert; Lanner, Fredrik; Altmae, Signe; Salumets, Andres (2019)
    The journey of embryonic development starts at oocyte fertilization, which triggers a complex cascade of events and cellular pathways that guide early embryogenesis. Recent technological advances have greatly expanded our knowledge of cleavage-stage embryo development, which is characterized by an increased rate of whole-chromosome losses and gains, mixoploidy, and atypical cleavage morphokinetics. Embryonic aneuploidy significantly contributes to implantation failure, spontaneous miscarriage, stillbirth or congenital birth defects in both natural and assisted human reproduction. Essentially, early embryo development is strongly determined by maternal factors. Owing to considerable limitations associated with human oocyte and embryo research, the use of animal models is inevitable. However, cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the error-prone early stages of development are still poorly described. In this review, we describe known events that lead to aneuploidy in mammalian oocytes and preimplantation embryos. As the processes of oocyte and embryo development are rigorously regulated by multiple signal-transduction pathways, we explore the putative role of signaling pathways in genomic integrity maintenance. Based on the existing evidence from human and animal data, we investigate whether critical early developmental pathways, like Wnt, Hippo and MAPK, together with distinct DNA damage response and DNA repair pathways can be associated with embryo genomic instability, a question that has, so far, remained largely unexplored.
  • Pussila, Marjaana; Toronen, Petri; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Katayama, Shintaro; Krjutskov, Kaarel; Holm, Liisa; Kere, Juha; Peltomäki, Paivi; Mäkinen, Markus J.; Linden, Jere; Nyström, Minna (2018)
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) genome is unstable and different types of instabilities, such as chromosomal instability (CIN) and microsatellite instability (MSI) are thought to reflect distinct cancer initiating mechanisms. Although 85% of sporadic CRC reveal CIN, 15% reveal mismatch repair (MMR) malfunction and MSI, the hallmarks of Lynch syndrome with inherited heterozygous germline mutations in MMR genes. Our study was designed to comprehensively follow genome-wide expression changes and their implications during colon tumorigenesis. We conducted a long-term feeding experiment in the mouse to address expression changes arising in histologically normal colonic mucosa as putative cancer preceding events, and the effect of inherited predisposition (Mlh1(+/-)) and Western-style diet (WD) on those. During the 21-month experiment, carcinomas developed mainly in WD-fed mice and were evenly distributed between genotypes. Unexpectedly, the heterozygote (B6.129-Mlh1tm1Rak) mice did not show MSI in their CRCs. Instead, both wildtype and heterozygote CRC mice showed a distinct mRNA expression profile and shortage of several chromosomal segregation gene-specific transcripts (Mlh1, Bub1, Mis18a, Tpx2, Rad9a, Pms2, Cenpe, Ncapd3, Odf2 and Dclre1b) in their colon mucosa, as well as an increased mitotic activity and abundant numbers of unbalanced/atypical mitoses in tumours. Our genome-wide expression profiling experiment demonstrates that cancer preceding changes are already seen in histologically normal colon mucosa and that decreased expressions of Mlh1 and other chromosomal segregation genes may form a field-defect in mucosa, which trigger MMR-proficient, chromosomally unstable CRC.