Polyploidy--More Is More or Less

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Science  09 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5425, pp. 210-211
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5425.210

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An alteration in the number of sets of chromosomes (ploidy) occurs during cell division, differentiation, and development. However, increases in ploidy are also found in tumor cells. These diverse observations may now have a common explanation, as described by Hieter in a Perspective. In a study of yeast in this issue by Galitski et al., increasing ploidy was found to be accompanied by alterations in gene expression: Some genes were induced and others repressed as the ploidy increased. This suggests that there is a ploidy-dependent mechanism of transcriptional regulation.