Aneuploidy Acts Both Oncogenically and as a Tumor Suppressor

Beth A.A. Weaver, Alain D. Silk, Cristina Montagna, Pascal Verdier-Pinard, Don W. Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

576 Scopus citations


An abnormal chromosome number, aneuploidy, is a common characteristic of tumor cells. Boveri proposed nearly 100 years ago that aneuploidy causes tumorigenesis, but this has remained untested due to the difficulty of selectively generating aneuploidy. Cells and mice with reduced levels of the mitosis-specific, centromere-linked motor protein CENP-E are now shown to develop aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in vitro and in vivo. An increased rate of aneuploidy does drive an elevated level of spontaneous lymphomas and lung tumors in aged animals. Remarkably, however, in examples of chemically or genetically induced tumor formation, an increased rate of aneuploidy is a more effective inhibitor than initiator of tumorigenesis. These findings reveal a role of aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in preventing tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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