Meiotic genes and DNA double strand break repair in cancer

Lingg, Lea; Rottenberg, Sven; Francica, Paola (2022). Meiotic genes and DNA double strand break repair in cancer. Frontiers in genetics, 13 Frontiers Media SA 10.3389/fgene.2022.831620

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Tumor cells show widespread genetic alterations that change the expression of genes driving tumor progression, including genes that maintain genomic integrity. In recent years, it has become clear that tumors frequently reactivate genes whose expression is typically restricted to germ cells. As germ cells have specialized pathways to facilitate the exchange of genetic information between homologous chromosomes, their aberrant regulation influences how cancer cells repair DNA double strand breaks (DSB). This drives genomic instability and affects the response of tumor cells to anticancer therapies. Since meiotic genes are usually transcriptionally repressed in somatic cells of healthy tissues, targeting aberrantly expressed meiotic genes may provide a unique opportunity to specifically kill cancer cells whilst sparing the non-transformed somatic cells. In this review, we highlight meiotic genes that have been reported to affect DSB repair in cancers derived from somatic cells. A better understanding of their mechanistic role in the context of homology-directed DNA repair in somatic cancers may provide useful insights to find novel vulnerabilities that can be targeted.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Lingg, Lea, Rottenberg, Sven, Francica, Paola


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Frontiers Media SA


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [18] European Research Council ; [193] Swiss Cancer League = Krebsliga Schweiz


Projects 310030 not found.
Projects 883877 not found.
Projects 4282 not found.




Sven Rottenberg

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2022 15:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:09

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

meiosis, mitosis, meiotic genes, genomic instability, DNA repair, homologous recombination




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