2021年11月8日3:00 AM PST

Genetic Explanation for Low Cancer Incidence in Elephants

大象具有两种可能使人们期望患癌症的高风险的品质。他们很大,他们的寿命很长。

A cell’s lifecycle involves repetitive rounds of cellular division, which allow for growth and repair. Every time a cell replicates there is a chance a mutation will arise causing the cells to overgrow and develop into cancer. Elephants live on average to at least65 years。The longer an organism lives, the more opportunities for an error to occur during cellular replication.

In addition, elephants are the world’s largest land mammal. The average elephant consists of about aquadrillion(or 1,000 trillion) cells. In contrast, the human body consists of about 37 trillion cells. If all cells have an equal risk of becoming cancerous, one may think that animals with many cells may be at an increased risk of developing cancer.

然而,大象很少发展癌症,表明它们尽管大小且预期寿命很长,但仍发展了出色的癌症预防机制。这种悖论鼓励科学家表征这些进化益处的机制。研究集中在特定基因上,TP52,,,,a precursor to the tumor-suppressor protein known as p53. Humans carry one copy of the TP52 gene, while elephants possess20 copies

A study published inElife通过提供大象DNA中包含的抗肿瘤成分的完整图片,提供了对大象中癌症发病率低的机制的更多见解。

该研究的作者之一,Vincent Lynch,解释说,他和他的合着者试图“整个大象基因组是否包含比您预期的更多的肿瘤抑制剂副本。”

研究分析了不同的基因组elephant species, including the African savannah elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant. In addition, the researchers included the genomes of some extinct species like the Woolly mammoth in the analysis.

该研究确定了一系列13个基因,这些基因在所有三种大象物种中都重复了。值得注意的是,研究人员发现重复的基因在与抗癌功能有关的途径中高度表达。这些包括与细胞周期,DNA损伤修复,端粒扩展以及维持和凋亡有关的基因。研究人员得出结论,由于额外的抗肿瘤基因副本,癌症的风险降低,促进了大象增加的大小的进化。

扩大有关大象受到大量保护的精确机制的知识,可以为努力预防和治疗人类癌症的研究人员提供重要的线索。

资料来源:quadrillion,,,,65 years,,,,TP52,,,,20 copies,,,,Elife,,,,Vincent Lynch,,,,

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