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BackgroundTherapy resistance in cancer is often driven by a subpopulation of cells that are temporarily arrested in a non-proliferative G0 state, which is difficult to capture and whose mutational drivers remain largely unknown.ResultsWe develop methodology to robustly identify this state from transcriptomic signals and characterise its prevalence and genomic constraints in solid primary tumours. We show that G0 arrest preferentially emerges in the context of more stable, less mutated genomes which maintain TP53 integrity and lack the hallmarks of DNA damage repair deficiency, while presenting increased APOBEC mutagenesis. We employ machine learning to uncover novel genomic dependencies of this process and validate the role of the centrosomal gene CEP89 as a modulator of proliferation and G0 arrest capacity. Lastly, we demonstrate that G0 arrest underlies unfavourable responses to various therapies exploiting cell cycle, kinase signalling and epigenetic mechanisms in single-cell data.ConclusionsWe propose a G0 arrest transcriptional signature that is linked with therapeutic resistance and can be used to further study and clinically track this state.

Original publication




Journal article


Genome biology

Publication Date





UCL Genetics Institute, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London, UK.