Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 Jul 19;370(1673). pii: 20140222. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0222.

Solutions to Peto's paradox revealed by mathematical modelling and cross-species cancer gene analysis.

Author information

1
Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA aleah.caulin@gmail.com.
2
Evolution and Cancer Laboratory, Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
3
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA.
4
Biodesign Institute, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA Center for Evolution and Cancer, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

Whales have 1000-fold more cells than humans and mice have 1000-fold fewer; however, cancer risk across species does not increase with the number of somatic cells and the lifespan of the organism. This observation is known as Peto's paradox. How much would evolution have to change the parameters of somatic evolution in order to equalize the cancer risk between species that differ by orders of magnitude in size? Analysis of previously published models of colorectal cancer suggests that a two- to three-fold decrease in the mutation rate or stem cell division rate is enough to reduce a whale's cancer risk to that of a human. Similarly, the addition of one to two required tumour-suppressor gene mutations would also be sufficient. We surveyed mammalian genomes and did not find a positive correlation of tumour-suppressor genes with increasing body mass and longevity. However, we found evidence of the amplification of TP53 in elephants, MAL in horses and FBXO31 in microbats, which might explain Peto's paradox in those species. Exploring parameters that evolution may have fine-tuned in large, long-lived organisms will help guide future experiments to reveal the underlying biology responsible for Peto's paradox and guide cancer prevention in humans.

KEYWORDS:

Peto's paradox; Wright–Fisher model; algebraic model; cancer; evolution; tumour suppression

PMID:
26056366
PMCID:
PMC4581027
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2014.0222
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center