Repeat sequences account for over half of the human genome and represent a significant source of variation that underlies physiological and pathological states. Yet, their study has been hindered due to limitations in short- reads sequencing technology and difficulties in assembly. A important category of repetitive DNA in the human genome is comprised of tandem repeats (TRs), where repetitive units are arranged in a head-to-tail pattern. Compared to other regions of the genome, TRs carry between 10 and 10,000 fold higher mutation rate. There are several mutagenic mechanisms that can give rise to this propensity toward instability, but their precise contribution remains speculative. Given the high degree of homology between these sequences and their arrangement in tandem, once damaged, TRs have an intrinsic propensity to undergo aberrant recombination with non-allelic exchange and generate harmful rearrangements that may undermine the stability of the entire genome. The dynamic mutagenesis at TRs has been found to underlie individual polymorphism associated with neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders, as well as complex genetic diseases like cancer and diabetes. Here, we review our current understanding of the surveillance and repair mechanisms operating within these regions, and we describe how alterations in these protective processes can readily trigger mutational signatures found at TRs, ultimately resulting in the pathological correlation between TRs instability and human diseases. Finally, we provide a viewpoint to counter the detrimental effects that TRs pose in light of their selection and conservation, as important drivers of human evolution.

Genome (in)stability at tandem repeats / Balzano, Elisa; Pelliccia, Franca; Giunta, Simona. - In: SEMINARS IN CELL & DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1084-9521. - (2020). [10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.10.003]

Genome (in)stability at tandem repeats

Elisa Balzano;Franca Pelliccia;Simona Giunta
2020

Abstract

Repeat sequences account for over half of the human genome and represent a significant source of variation that underlies physiological and pathological states. Yet, their study has been hindered due to limitations in short- reads sequencing technology and difficulties in assembly. A important category of repetitive DNA in the human genome is comprised of tandem repeats (TRs), where repetitive units are arranged in a head-to-tail pattern. Compared to other regions of the genome, TRs carry between 10 and 10,000 fold higher mutation rate. There are several mutagenic mechanisms that can give rise to this propensity toward instability, but their precise contribution remains speculative. Given the high degree of homology between these sequences and their arrangement in tandem, once damaged, TRs have an intrinsic propensity to undergo aberrant recombination with non-allelic exchange and generate harmful rearrangements that may undermine the stability of the entire genome. The dynamic mutagenesis at TRs has been found to underlie individual polymorphism associated with neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders, as well as complex genetic diseases like cancer and diabetes. Here, we review our current understanding of the surveillance and repair mechanisms operating within these regions, and we describe how alterations in these protective processes can readily trigger mutational signatures found at TRs, ultimately resulting in the pathological correlation between TRs instability and human diseases. Finally, we provide a viewpoint to counter the detrimental effects that TRs pose in light of their selection and conservation, as important drivers of human evolution.
2020
Tandem repeats; mutagenesis; repeats damage; DNA damage response; DNA repair; tandem disorders
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
Genome (in)stability at tandem repeats / Balzano, Elisa; Pelliccia, Franca; Giunta, Simona. - In: SEMINARS IN CELL & DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1084-9521. - (2020). [10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.10.003]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1449092
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