Science:科学家测序出抗肿瘤鼹鼠的基因组
Science · 2011/07/07
利物浦大学科学家与诺里奇基因组分析中心合作,测序出无毛鼹鼠的首个全基因组序列,这一种鼠可抵抗癌症并能活到30年以上的寿命。

利物浦大学科学家与诺里奇基因组分析中心合作,测序出无毛鼹鼠的首个全基因组序列,这一种鼠可抵抗癌症并能活到30年以上的寿命。

地下生存的无毛鼹鼠

地下生存的无毛鼹鼠

无毛鼹鼠原产于东非沙漠地带,具有在严酷环境下存活数年之久的生理机能,它的皮肤缺少疼痛感,以及新陈代谢速度慢可适应氧供应不足的环境。

为了研究无毛鼹鼠的长寿命和抗衰老能力,科学家首次测序出它的基因组,希望找到抗衰老机制(如DNA修复和抗衰老相关基因)的基因组信息。

迄今为止,还没有在无毛鼹鼠中发现肿瘤。近来研究表明,它的体细胞具有抗肿瘤的生理机能,人和其它鼠种不具有这一机能。利物浦大学的研究人员分析了鼹鼠的基因组数据,并与从事健康科学的研究人员分享这些数据,希望相关信息可用于人类衰老和癌症的研究。

来自利物浦大学综合生物研究所的Joao Pedro Magalhaes博士称,科学家对无毛鼹鼠的兴趣已达数年之久,直到最近,我们才发现它能存活那么久。鼹鼠并不比普通鼠体格大,后者正常情况下存活4年,而这一地下啮齿动物在健康的情况下具有30年的寿命。我们正在研究衰老的机制,鼹鼠算得上有趣的生物样本。

他还说:“我们的目的是,借助基因组数据分析无毛鼹鼠对疾病——尤其是癌症——的抵抗力,或许我们可以得到更多关于人类比其它动物更易患病的线索。通过这一项研究,我们希望用无毛鼹鼠作为首个抗衰老的生物模型。”

TGAC生物信息系主任Mario Caccamo博士称,在无毛鼹鼠基因组工程上我们使用最新的测序技术,由于该技术的优越性,仅几天内我们获取足够的序列片段,用于拼接第一手的基因组草图。考虑到无毛鼹鼠具有哺乳动物复杂和重复的基因组,鼹鼠基因组草图算得上一次重大的成就。

这项工作引发了网络数据库的构建,后者用于详细记录4000种以上物种的生命周期。这一网络资源将是最广泛、最完整的动物寿命信息库,详细记录动物的最长和平均寿命、性成熟年龄、产仔数和其它生命特征。这些信息可用于研究不同动物为什么衰老速率不同,最终是为了进一步探索衰老的机制。

无毛鼹鼠的研究只是研究小组的分支课题,该科研小组的科学家分别来自伦敦大学玛丽皇后学院、圣安东尼奥得克萨斯大学健康科学中心、哈佛医学院、美国布朗大学、南加州大学、莱布尼茨年龄研究所和伦敦大学国王学院。

要了解更多关于鼹鼠基因组的信息,请访问:http://www.naked-mole-rat.org/(生物探索译 Pobee )

 

生物探索推荐英文原文

Naked Mole-Rat Genome: Scientists Sequence DNA of Cancer-Resistant Rodent

Scientists at the University of Liverpool, in partnership with The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich, have generated the first whole-genome sequencing data of the naked mole-rat, a rodent that is resistant to cancer and lives for more than 30 years.

The naked mole-rat is native to the deserts of East Africa and has unique physical traits that allow it to survive in harsh environments for many years. It has a lack of pain sensation in its skin and has a low metabolic rate that allows it to live underground with limited oxygen supply.

For the first time, scientists have sequenced the genome of the naked mole-rat to understand its longevity and resistance to diseases of aging. Researchers will use the genomic information to study the mechanisms thought to protect against the causes of aging, such as DNA repair and genes associated with these processes.

To date, cancer has not been detected in the naked mole-rat. Recent studies have suggested that its cells possess anti-tumour capabilities that are not present in other rodents or in humans. Researchers at Liverpool are analysing the genomic data and making it available to researchers in health sciences, providing information that could be relevant to studies in human aging and cancer.

Dr Joao Pedro Magalhaes, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Integrative Biology, said: "The naked mole-rat has fascinated scientists for many years, but it wasn't until a few years ago that we discovered that it could live for such a long period of time. It is not much bigger than a mouse, which normally lives up to four years, and yet this particular underground rodent lives for three decades in good health. It is an interesting example of how much we still have to learn about the mechanisms of aging.

"We aim to use the naked mole-rat genome to understand the level of resistance it has to disease, particularly cancer, as this might give us more clues as to why some animals and humans are more prone to disease than others. With this work, we want to establish the naked mole-rat as the first model of resistance to chronic diseases of aging."

Dr Mario Caccamo, Head of Bioinformatics at TGAC, said: "We used the latest sequencing technologies for the naked mole-rat project. Due to the latest sequencing technology advances, we generated enough sequence to be able to obtain a first draft of the genome reference, in only a few days. This is a great achievement considering that this is a mammalian species with typically complex and repetitive genome."

The work follows the launch of an online database detailing the life history of more than 4,000 animal species. The online resource, which is the most extensive and complete record of animal longevity, details the maximum and average lifespan of an animal, its weight, age of sexual maturity, litter size and other life history traits. It can be used to examine why different species age at different rates in order to further understanding of the mechanisms of aging.

Study on the naked-mole rat is part of a research consortium that includes scientists from Queen Mary, University of London; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Harvard Medical School; Brown University; University of Southern California; Leibniz Institute for Age Research; and King's College London.

For more information on the naked mole-rat genome visit: http://www.naked-mole-rat.org/

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