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Study Reveals Role of Sex Chromosomes in Cancer Gene Essentiality

Sex chromosomes can affect gene essentiality in cancer cells, highlighting the influence of X and Y chromosomes in cellular and molecular biology, according to a study appearing this week in Genome Research. Human sex differences are caused by gonadal hormone secretions and genes located on the X and Y chromosomes, but it remains challenging to demonstrate the direct effects of sex chromosomes separate from the gonadal hormones. In the study, investigators from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem set out to examine how sex chromosomes modulate gene expression and the outcome of mutations across the genome using the tendency of cancer cell lines to lose or gain sex chromosomes. They inferred the dosage of sex chromosomes in 355 female and 408 male cancer cell lines, using the results to break out the contributions of the Y and X chromosomes to sex-biased gene expression. Using data from genome-wide CRISPR screens, they further identified genes whose essentiality is different between cells depending on the sex chromosomes. "The results show that both the X and Y chromosomes have a global influence on gene expression and the essentiality of genes," the researchers write. "In addition to the implications of our results for studying the differences between males and females, they are relevant to understanding specific disorders and genetic alterations … [including] syndromes with sex chromosome abnormalities … and the mosaic loss of the Y chromosome frequently observed both in cancer cells and during the normal aging process of male individuals."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.