The impact of mitotic errors on cell proliferation and tumorigenesis

Genes Dev. 2018 May 1;32(9-10):620-638. doi: 10.1101/gad.314351.118.


Mitosis is a delicate event that must be executed with high fidelity to ensure genomic stability. Recent work has provided insight into how mitotic errors shape cancer genomes by driving both numerical and structural alterations in chromosomes that contribute to tumor initiation and progression. Here, we review the sources of mitotic errors in human tumors and their effect on cell fitness and transformation. We discuss new findings that suggest that chromosome missegregation can produce a proinflammatory environment and impact tumor responsiveness to immunotherapy. Finally, we survey the vulnerabilities exposed by cell division errors and how they can be exploited therapeutically.

Keywords: aneuploidy; chromosomal instability; mitosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Genomic Instability / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mitosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics