A new study published in Nature has found that the cyclic extra-chromosomal DNA (ecDNA) in tumor cells can express large amounts of cancer-causing genes, allowing cancer cells to grow rapidly. Previous studies have shown that ring-shaped DNA clips that encode cancer genes are found in nearly half of all human cancers. Pan-cancer analysis showed that the cancer gene encoded in the cyclic ecDNA was one of the most expressed genes in the tumor transcription group.
The researchers note that the structure of cyclographic ecDNA was demonstrated by computational analysis that integrates microstructure imaging, remote optical mapping, and genome-wide sequencing.
Studies have shown that ring-like ecDNA in cancer is highly accessible and can be transcribed and expressed quickly. This characteristic enables cells to produce large growth-promoting cancer-causing genes, allowing them to evolve more quickly to respond forcefully to environmental changes and threats.
The researchers say this unique shape of cancer cells, unlike normal human DNA, provides a structural basis for understanding the aggressivenature of certain tumor cells. It also reveals the key role of the special structure of ecDNA in promoting the aggressiveness of cancer cells and will promote the development of new anti-cancer drugs.