Noncanonical DNA structures are postulated to be responsible for some breakpoint hotspots that occur frequently in cancers. We developed a novel mouse model system using the naturally occurring H-DNA structure that deviate from the familiar right-handed helical B form found at the breakage hotspot in the human c-MYC promoter and a Z-DNA-forming CG repeat to test this idea directly. Large-scale chromosomal deletions and/or translocations occurred in 5 (7.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.7% to 12.8%) of the 65 mice carrying the H-DNA-forming sequences and in 7 (6.6%, 95% CI = 3.8% to 11.6%) of the 106 mice carrying the Z-DNA-forming sequences, but in 0 of the 63 control mice (P =. 042 and P =. 035, respectively, two-sided test). Thus, the DNA structure itself can introduce instability in a mammalian genome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research