Research press release


Communications Biology

Zoology: Sea turtle tumours are similar to human cancers



今回、David Duffyたちの研究グループは、ヒトのがんに現在用いられているプレシジョン・メディシンの手法を用いて、ウミガメの線維乳頭腫症の腫瘍が増殖する原因となる分子シグナル伝達事象を調べた。Duffyたちは、腫瘍発生過程で起こる遺伝子発現の変化を調べ、宿主の遺伝子の発現が変化することで腫瘍の発生が促進され、ウイルス由来の遺伝子の影響は受けていないことを明らかにした。


Tumours in sea turtles share similar genetic vulnerabilities with human cancers, according to a paper published this week in Communications Biology. These findings could lead to the use of human cancer treatments for treating tumours in sea turtles.

Sea turtle populations are currently under threat of extinction, and fibropapillomatosis - a potentially fatal virulent tumour - is undermining conservation efforts. Human-related activities like habitat degradation are contributing to the spread of this oncogenic virus, as well as other emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. Practically nothing is known about the dynamics between the virus and the sea turtle host, including which genes are responsible for driving tumour development.

David Duffy and colleagues studied the molecular signalling events responsible for fibropapilloma tumour growth in sea turtles by applying the same precision medicine techniques currently used for human cancers. They looked at changes in gene expression that occur during tumour development and found that tumours are driven by altered expression of host genes, and are not affected by genes from the virus.

The authors suggest that these driver genes could therefore be targeted by the same anti-tumour therapies used to treat human cancers. The findings also demonstrate the power of using precision medicine approaches to tackle rare and understudied wildlife diseases.

doi: 10.1038/s42003-018-0059-x


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