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Cell Rep. 2014 Sep 11;8(5):1354-64. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.030. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Adaptations to a subterranean environment and longevity revealed by the analysis of mole rat genomes.

Author information

1
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518083, China; Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
2
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Bioinspired Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea.
3
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518083, China.
4
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Department of Bioinspired Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea.
6
Rodent Histopathology Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
7
University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, Ceske Budejovice 37005, Czech Republic.
8
Department of Physiology and The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA.
9
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
10
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.
11
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518083, China; Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark; King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21441, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: wangj@genomics.org.cn.
12
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Bioinspired Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea. Electronic address: vgladyshev@rics.bwh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Subterranean mammals spend their lives in dark, unventilated environments that are rich in carbon dioxide and ammonia and low in oxygen. Many of these animals are also long-lived and exhibit reduced aging-associated diseases, such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. We sequenced the genome of the Damaraland mole rat (DMR, Fukomys damarensis) and improved the genome assembly of the naked mole rat (NMR, Heterocephalus glaber). Comparative genome analyses, along with the transcriptomes of related subterranean rodents, revealed candidate molecular adaptations for subterranean life and longevity, including a divergent insulin peptide, expression of oxygen-carrying globins in the brain, prevention of high CO2-induced pain perception, and enhanced ammonia detoxification. Juxtaposition of the genomes of DMR and other more conventional animals with the genome of NMR revealed several truly exceptional NMR features: unusual thermogenesis, an aberrant melatonin system, pain insensitivity, and unique processing of 28S rRNA. Together, these genomes and transcriptomes extend our understanding of subterranean adaptations, stress resistance, and longevity.

PMID:
25176646
PMCID:
PMC4350764
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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