Iourov, I.Y.; Vorsanova, S.G.; Yurov, Y.B.; Zelenova, M.A.; Kurinnaia, O.S.; Vasin, K.S.; Kutsev, S.I. The Cytogenomic “Theory of Everything”: Chromohelkosis May Underlie Chromosomal Instability and Mosaicism in Disease and Aging. Int. J. Mol. Sci.2020, 21, 8328.
Iourov, I.Y.; Vorsanova, S.G.; Yurov, Y.B.; Zelenova, M.A.; Kurinnaia, O.S.; Vasin, K.S.; Kutsev, S.I. The Cytogenomic “Theory of Everything”: Chromohelkosis May Underlie Chromosomal Instability and Mosaicism in Disease and Aging. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 8328.
Mechanisms for somatic chromosomal mosaicism (SCM) and chromosomal instability (CIN) are incompletely understood. During SNP-array molecular karyotyping and bioinformatic analyses of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and congenital malformations (n=612), we observed colocalizaion of regular chromosomal imbalances or copy number variations (CNV) with mosaic ones (n=47 or 7.7%). Analyzing molecular karyotyping data and pathways affected by CNV burdens, we proposed a mechanism for SCM/CIN, which had been designated as “chromohelkosis” (from the Greek chromosome ulceration/open wound). Briefly, structural chromosomal imbalances are likely to cause local instability (“wreckage”) at the breakpoints, which results either to partial/whole chromosome loss (e.g. aneuploidy) or elongation of duplicated regions. Accordingly, a function for classical/alpha satellite DNA (protection from the wreckage towards the centromere) has been hypothesized. Since SCM and CIN are ubiquitously involved in development, homeostasis and disease (e.g. prenatal development, cancer, brain diseases, aging), we have metaphorically (ironically) designate the system explaining chromohelkosis contribution to SCM/CIN as the cytogenomic “theory of everything” like the homonymous theory in physics inasmuch as it might explain numerous phenomena in chromosome biology. Recognizing possible empirical and theoretical weaknesses of this “theory”, we nevertheless believe that studies of chromohelkosis-like processes are required to understand structural variability and flexibility of the genome.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.