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Cell Rep. 2015 Jan 6;10(1):112-22. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.008.

Insights into the evolution of longevity from the bowhead whale genome.

Author information

1
Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Departments of Biophysics and Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9050, USA.
3
Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Group, School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland.
4
MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX, UK.
5
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Instituto Universitario de Oncología (IUOPA), Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.
6
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.
7
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
8
Personal Genomics Institute, Genome Research Foundation, Suwon 443-270, Republic of Korea.
9
KIOST, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Ansan 426-744, Republic of Korea.
10
Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland.
11
Department of Environmental Science, Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR) and Institute for Biomedical Studies, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA.
12
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
13
The Center for Genomic Advocacy (TCGA) and Department of Biology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA.
14
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
15
North Slope Borough, Department of Wildlife Management, Barrow, AK 99723, USA.
16
Battelle Memorial Institute, Houston, TX 77079, USA; Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
17
Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK. Electronic address: jp@senescence.info.

Abstract

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is estimated to live over 200 years and is possibly the longest-living mammal. These animals should possess protective molecular adaptations relevant to age-related diseases, particularly cancer. Here, we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the bowhead whale genome and two transcriptomes from different populations. Our analysis identifies genes under positive selection and bowhead-specific mutations in genes linked to cancer and aging. In addition, we identify gene gain and loss involving genes associated with DNA repair, cell-cycle regulation, cancer, and aging. Our results expand our understanding of the evolution of mammalian longevity and suggest possible players involved in adaptive genetic changes conferring cancer resistance. We also found potentially relevant changes in genes related to additional processes, including thermoregulation, sensory perception, dietary adaptations, and immune response. Our data are made available online (http://www.bowhead-whale.org) to facilitate research in this long-lived species.

PMID:
25565328
PMCID:
PMC4536333
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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