Navigation Links
The naked mole-rat's secret to staying cancer free
Date:7/31/2013

Mice and rats have long since been a standard animal model for cancer research, mainly due to their short lifespan of four years on average and high incidence of cancer. Naked mole rats however, are a mystery among mammals. This social tiny African subterranean rodent has a maximum lifespan exceeding 30 years and most surprisingly, is cancer-resistant. The fact that so far, not a single incident of cancer has been detected makes the naked mole rat a fitting model for finding novel ways to fight cancer.

Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Rochester in New York and the University of Haifa found the naked mole rat's unique mechanism to staying cancer free- a super sugar called high-molecular-mass Hyaluronan (HMM-HA). They discovered that when secreted from the naked mole rat's cells, HMM-HA prevents cells from overcrowding and forming tumors. "Contact inhibition, a powerful anticancer mechanism, discovered by the Rochester team, arresting cell growth when cells come into contact with each other, is lost in cancer cells", explains Prof. Eviatar Nevo, from the Institute of Evolution at the University of Haifa, "The experiments showed that when HMM-HA was removed from naked mole rat cells, they became susceptible to tumors and lost their contact inhibition".

HMM-HA is a form of Hyaluronan- a long sugar polymer, naturally present as a lubricant in the extracellular matrix of the human body. It is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis or in anti-wrinkle skin care products. According to the current results, the naked mole rat cells secrete extremely high-molecular mass HA, which is over five times larger than human or mouse HA. This high-molecular-mass HA accumulates abundantly in naked mole rat tissues, owing to a more robust synthesis by a protein called HAS2 and a decreased activity of HA-degrading enzymes. When researchers compared the Has2 gene between the naked mole rat and other mammals, they discovered that two unique amino acids, (asparagines), that are 100% conserved among mammals, were replaced by two other amino acids (serines), in the naked mole rat. These unique amino acid changes may be responsible for the high processivity of the naked mole rat HAS2 protein- in charge of HA synthesis. The naked mole rat cells display a two-fold higher affinity to HA than mouse or human cells, contributing to the higher sensitivity of naked mole rat cells to HA signaling. Remarkably, explains Professor Nevo, "the cells of the Israeli solitary blind mole rat, Spalax, which is phylogenetically closer to mice and rats than to naked mole rats, also secreted HMM-HA. This highlights a parallel evolution in unrelated subterranean mammals, presumably a shared adaptation to life underground".

The researchers speculate that naked mole rats evolved higher concentrations of HA in the skin to provide the skin elasticity needed for life in underground tunnels. So far, experiments in human cells have been very limited. However, there has been some evidence showing there is reason for hope. In one of their experiments, the researchers noticed that when naked mole rat HAS2 synthesis protein was overexpressed in human cell tissues, the cells began secreting HMM-HA. This opens new avenues for cancer prevention and life extension in human medicine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Polina Petruhin
ppetruh1@univ.haifa.ac.il
972-482-88722
University of Haifa
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find differences in naked mole rats protein disposers
2. Naked mole rat may hold the secret to long life
3. Test developed to detect early-stage diseases with naked eye
4. Breaking up isnt hard to do -- the secret lives of corals on dark and stormy nights
5. Artificial womb unlocks secrets of early embryo development
6. Ancient Egyptian cotton unveils secrets of domesticated crop evolution
7. Cellular secrets of plant fatty acid production understood
8. Secret soil cracks linger, despite surface sealing
9. Track Atlantic bluefin tuna to learn migration, habitat secrets
10. Forensics ferret out fire beetle secret
11. Cancerous tumors deliver pro-metastatic information in secreted vesicles
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... 7, 2017 Report Highlights The ... from $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound annual ... Report Includes - An overview of the global ... with data from 2015 and 2016, and projections of ... of the market on the basis of product type, ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... 2017 According to Acuity Market Intelligence, ... authorities to continue to embrace biometric and digital ... Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and 1436 Automated ... than 163 ports of entry across the globe. ... a combined CAGR of 37%. APC Kiosks reached ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader ... white paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics ... ensuring user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional ... users. However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017 UCHealth ( Aurora, ... LungDirect for pulmonary nodule patient management. In addition to ... a spot on the lung, UCHealth looks to improve ... data entry. Stephanie Brown, RN , ... nodule patients with an Excel spreadsheet, which was extremely ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Champions Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSBR ... of advanced technology solutions and products to personalize the ... addition of new cohorts of PDX models to their ... expand Champions, product line in hepatocellular cancer, breast cancer, ... and non-small cell lung cancer (including EGFR mutation; ALK/ROS1 ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Pa. , Feb. 16, 2017  Windtree ... biotechnology company focusing on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant ... from a preclinical influenza study showed that aerosolized ... survival in a well-established preclinical animal model. The ... a growing body of evidence that supports the ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... and NEW YORK , Feb. ... near completion of their $7M Series B financing, adding ... of the $3.5M led by Mesa Verde Venture Partners ... These resources will be directed towards further accelerating commercial ... a comprehensive genomic profiling test and expanding the Paradigm ...
Breaking Biology Technology: