Application of DNA fingerprints to identify mutational signatures

Cancer and its causes

The major cause of cancer is found to be some unwanted changes in the structure of DNA that are otherwise called as mutations, inducing uncontrollable cell division. There are many reasons of cancer, such as lack of fidelity of the DNA replication machinery, disclosures to mutagen, enzymatic DNA alteration, and faulty repair of DNA that results a definite fingerprint on DNA damage. All the cells of human body possess somatic mutations throughout life.

What are mutational signatures?

There are certain mutational patterns within the cancerous gene that are now being revealed including the complication of somatic mutation. Several mutations create specific arrangements of mutation types, designated “Mutational Signatures”. Due to increase in the quantity of sequenced whole-genome and refined analytical methods, it is possible to extract more mutational signatures along with more exact definition of their structures.

These fingerprints help in understanding the development of cancer and their prevention. Extensive analyses have discovered numerous mutational signatures in human cancer kinds. However, previous researches were not sufficient to recognize all probable mutational signatures.

Identification of mutational signatures by DNA fingerprinting

Mutations are of various types, starting from single nucleotide mutations to deletion or insertion of a chain of nucleotides resulting in genetics changes. These changes can act as mutational signatures to be identified by DNA fingerprinting. The consequence is the prevalent database of reference mutational signatures ever. Half of all the mutational signatures have identified reasons, but this source could find more causes and understand cancer development in a better way. Certain mutational signatures, or DNA fingerprints, reveal the cancer response to drugs.

 Future prospective

The foundation of certain signatures is accepted, however, for several it remains hypothetical or indefinite. Explaining the mutational processes will be influenced by two key investigations. At first, mutational signatures accumulation from model systems, exposed to known mutagens or disturbances of the DNA maintenance machinery and assessment with those found in human cancers. Second, the association of the causes of mutational signatures with other biological characteristics of each cancer through varied methods extending from molecular profiling to epidemiology. Jointly, the researches will develop the cancer aetiology understanding with possible suggestions for prevention and management.


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