Thursday, July 12, 2018

CRG: "Negative selection is involved in cancer evolution"

News from CRG

Negative selection -a type of natural selection acting towards preventing the accumulation of mutations that would decrease the fitness of a cell- has a major role in cancer evolution. This is the controversial conclusion of a research conducted by CRG scientists led by Martin Schaefer and published in the journal Genome Biology.

During this study, CRG researchers used a newly developed method to analyse more than 7,500 individual functional genomes from 26 tumour types from The Cancer Genome Atlas data and they identified essential cancer genes and immunity-related protein regions under significant negative selection. “This is the first large scale study to detect a substantial impact of negative selection in shaping cancer genomes. We demonstrate that negative selection is underestimated and acts stronger on certain regions, which are related to essential cellular functions and to immune response. This finding is controversial because it challenges the current paradigm of an exclusive role of positive selection in cancer” Schaefer pointed out. - Carlos Sierra / PRBB

Reference article:
Zapata et al. Negative selection in tumor genome evolution acts on essential cellular functions and the immunopeptidome. Genome Biology (2018) 19:67 DOI: 10.1186/s13059-018-1434-0

More information:
CRG website