Mitotic errors lead to aneuploidy, a condition of karyotype imbalance, frequently found in cancer cells. Alterations in chromosome copy number induce a wide variety of cellular stresses, including genome instability. Here, we show that cancer cells might exploit aneuploidy-induced genome instability and the resulting gene copy-number changes to survive under conditions of selective pressure, such as chemotherapy. Resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs was dictated by the acquisition of recurrent karyotypes, indicating that gene dosage might play a role in driving chemoresistance. Thus, our study establishes a causal link between aneuploidy-driven changes in gene copy number and chemoresistance and might explain why some chemotherapies fail to succeed.
- drug resistance
- genome instability