The Transcriptome and Proteome Networks of Malignant Tumours Reveal Atavistic Attractors of Polyploidy-Related Asexual Reproduction

Ninel M. Vainshelbaum (Coresponding Author), Alessandro Giuliani, Kristine Salmina, Dace Pjanova, Jekaterina Erenpreisa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of gametogenesis-related (GG) genes and proteins, as well as whole genome duplications (WGD), are the hallmarks of cancer related to poor prognosis. Currently, it is not clear if these hallmarks are random processes associated only with genome instability or are programmatically linked. Our goal was to elucidate this via a thorough bioinformatics analysis of 1474 GG genes in the context of WGD. We examined their association in protein–protein interaction and coexpression networks, and their phylostratigraphic profiles from publicly available patient tumour data. The results show that GG genes are upregulated in most WGD-enriched somatic cancers at the transcriptome level and reveal robust GG gene expression at the protein level, as well as the ability to associate into correlation networks and enrich the reproductive modules. GG gene phylostratigraphy displayed in WGD+ cancers an attractor of early eukaryotic origin for DNA recombination and meiosis, and one relative to oocyte maturation and embryogenesis from early multicellular organisms. The upregulation of cancer–testis genes emerging with mammalian placentation was also associated with WGD. In general, the results suggest the role of polyploidy for soma–germ transition accessing latent cancer attractors in the human genome network, which appear as pre-formed along the whole Evolution of Life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14930
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • atavism
  • basic meiosis attractor
  • biological interaction networks
  • cancer
  • early embryo
  • female meiosis
  • gene phylostratigraphy
  • pseudo-placentation
  • soma–germ transition
  • whole genome duplications

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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