Cancer resistance insights gained from the blind mole rat

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The blind mole rat has adapted to a life deep underground to avoid predators and climate changes, but the underground environment exposes it to soil pathogens and other factors that should increase cancer incidence. Researchers are examining the reasons that the mole rat appears able to adapt to this habitat that carries a greater cancer risk. A related species, the naked mole rat, is also well-known for its immunity to cancer. The cancer resistance demonstrated by this species could be a result of the adaptation to hypoxia via the weakening of the p53 gene and accompanying SINE expansion.

Cancer resistance insights gained from the blind mole rat
Cancer resistance insights gained from the blind mole rat
A genomic and transcriptomic study has revealed the genes that allowed the blind mole rat (Spalax galili) to adapt to the stresses of life underground and provides clues as to how it resists cancer. However, this lifestyle also exposes it to challenges such as low oxygen (hypoxia), high carbon dioxide levels (hypercapnia) and soil pathogens.
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