A non-genetic route to aneuploidy in human cancers

Matej Krajcovic, Nicole B. Johnson, Qiang Sun, Guillaume Normand, Nicholas Hoover, Evelyn Yao, Andrea L. Richardson, Randall W. King, Edmund S. Cibas, Stuart J. Schnitt, Joan S. Brugge, Michael Overholtzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Aneuploidy is common in human tumours and is often indicative of aggressive disease. Aneuploidy can result from cytokinesis failure, which produces binucleate cells that generate aneuploid offspring with subsequent divisions. In cancers, disruption of cytokinesis is known to result from genetic perturbations to mitotic pathways or checkpoints. Here we describe a non-genetic mechanism of cytokinesis failure that occurs as a direct result of cell-in-cell formation by entosis. Live cells internalized by entosis, which can persist through the cell cycle of host cells, disrupt formation of the contractile ring during host cell division. As a result, cytokinesis frequently fails, generating binucleate cells that produce aneuploid cell lineages. In human breast tumours, multinucleation is associated with cell-in-cell structures. These data define a previously unknown mechanism of cytokinesis failure and aneuploid cell formation that operates in human cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalNature cell biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'A non-genetic route to aneuploidy in human cancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this