Cancers: such master, such dog


"Gene fusions are known to be responsible for cancers in humans. We found the same gene mutations, in the same cancers in the dog, "explains Ronan Ulvé, a postdoctoral fellow on Catherine André's team at Igdr (1), specialized in the comparative study of genetic diseases of the man and the dog (2). Indeed, during the replication (3) of the DNA, genes involved in the proliferation of cancer cells can be moved to other chromosomes by mistake. If they fuse with specific and highly expressed genes in a given tissue, this can promote the development of a tumor in that tissue. The researchers suspected that such abnormalities were also at the origin of cancers in the dog and demonstrated it for three canine cancers, which are found in humans: a lymphoma, a glioma and a cutaneous fibrosarcoma. Discoveries in dogs will help to better understand and treat homologous cancers in humans, and vice versa!


(1) Institut de génétique et développement de Rennes, Unité mixte de recherche Cnrs/Université de Rennes 1.
(2) Lire Les gènes de maladies humaines dénichés grâce au chien !, Sciences Ouest n° 349-février 2017.
(3) Copie de l’ADN lors de la division cellulaire.

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