Centrosome Amplification Is Sufficient to Promote Spontaneous Tumorigenesis in Mammals

Michelle S. Levine, Bjorn Bakker, Bram Boeckx, Julia Moyett, James Lu, Benjamin Vitre, Diana C. Spierings, Peter M. Lansdorp, Don W. Cleveland, Diether Lambrechts, Floris Foijer, Andrew J. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Centrosome amplification is a common feature of human tumors, but whether this is a cause or a consequence of cancer remains unclear. Here, we test the consequence of centrosome amplification by creating mice in which centrosome number can be chronically increased in the absence of additional genetic defects. We show that increasing centrosome number elevated tumor initiation in a mouse model of intestinal neoplasia. Most importantly, we demonstrate that supernumerary centrosomes are sufficient to drive aneuploidy and the development of spontaneous tumors in multiple tissues. Tumors arising from centrosome amplification exhibit frequent mitotic errors and possess complex karyotypes, recapitulating a common feature of human cancer. Together, our data support a direct causal relationship among centrosome amplification, genomic instability, and tumor development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322.e5
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2017


  • Plk4
  • aneuploidy
  • centriole
  • centrosome amplification
  • genomic instability
  • mitosis
  • tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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