Reconstructing single-cell karyotype alterations in colorectal cancer identifies punctuated and gradual diversification patterns

Yannik Bollen, Ellen Stelloo, Petra van Leenen, Myrna van den Bos, Bas Ponsioen, Bingxin Lu, Markus J. van Roosmalen, Ana C.F. Bolhaqueiro, Christopher Kimberley, Maximilian Mossner, William C.H. Cross, Nicolle J.M. Besselink, Bastiaan van der Roest, Sander Boymans, Koen C. Oost, Sippe G. de Vries, Holger Rehmann, Edwin Cuppen, Susanne M.A. Lens, Geert J.P.L. KopsWigard P. Kloosterman, Leon W.M.M. Terstappen, Chris P. Barnes, Andrea Sottoriva, Trevor A. Graham, Hugo J.G. Snippert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Central to tumor evolution is the generation of genetic diversity. However, the extent and patterns by which de novo karyotype alterations emerge and propagate within human tumors are not well understood, especially at single-cell resolution. Here, we present 3D Live-Seq—a protocol that integrates live-cell imaging of tumor organoid outgrowth and whole-genome sequencing of each imaged cell to reconstruct evolving tumor cell karyotypes across consecutive cell generations. Using patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids and fresh tumor biopsies, we demonstrate that karyotype alterations of varying complexity are prevalent and can arise within a few cell generations. Sub-chromosomal acentric fragments were prone to replication and collective missegregation across consecutive cell divisions. In contrast, gross genome-wide karyotype alterations were generated in a single erroneous cell division, providing support that aneuploid tumor genomes can evolve via punctuated evolution. Mapping the temporal dynamics and patterns of karyotype diversification in cancer enables reconstructions of evolutionary paths to malignant fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1195
Number of pages9
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstructing single-cell karyotype alterations in colorectal cancer identifies punctuated and gradual diversification patterns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this