Tag: Vera Gorbunova
Do naked mole rats hold the key to defeating cancer? Ugly rodents produce hybrid protein that prevents tumour growth
The researchers hope it may now be possible to use this newly discovered protein to develop new treatments that can help stop cancers from spreading or even developing in the first place.
Naked mole rats are small, hairless, subterranean rodents that have never been known to get cancer despite having a 30-year lifespan. A new protein discovered by biologist Vera Gorbunova may help explain why.
Biology researchers Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov report that the “jumping genes” in mice become active as the mice age when a multi-function protein stops keeping them in check in order to take on another role. A protein called Sirt6 is needed to keep the jumping genes—technically known as retrotransposons—inactive.
Biologist Vera Gorbunova studies these creatures at the University of Rochester. She says naked mole rat societies, which can reach 300 individuals, are more like dictatorships than monarchies because anyone with the gumption can ascend the throne.
Biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andei Seluanov have discovered one reason for the the increase in DNA damage as we age: the primary repair process begins to fail and is replaced by one that is less accurate.
A $9.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging will support research into the factors responsible for longevity in various species of long-lived rodents, with the goal of developing treatments to improve the aging process in people.
Blind mole rats and naked mole rats—both subterranean rodents with long life spans—are the only mammals never known to develop cancer. Rochester biologists have now determined that the mechanism for fighting off cancer differs between the two.