P53 in blind subterranean mole rats--loss-of-function versus gain-of-function activities on newly cloned Spalax target genes.
ABSTRACT A tumor suppressor gene, p53, controls cellular responses to a variety of stress conditions, including DNA damage and hypoxia, leading to growth arrest and/or apoptosis. Recently, we demonstrated that in blind subterranean mole rats, Spalax, a model organism for hypoxia tolerance, the p53 DNA-binding domain contains a specific Arg174Lys amino acid substitution. This substitution reduces the p53 effect on the transcription of apoptosis genes (apaf1, puma, pten and noxa) and enhances it on human cell cycle arrest and p53 stabilization/homeostasis genes (mdm2, pten, p21 and cycG). In the current study, we cloned Spalax apaf1 promoter and mdm2 intronic regions containing consensus p53-responsive elements. We compared the Spalax-responsive elements to those of human, mouse and rat and investigated the transcriptional activity of Spalax and human Arg174Lys-mutated p53 on target genes of both species. Spalax and human-mutated p53 lost induction of apaf1 transcription, and increased induction of mdm2 transcription. We conclude that Spalax evolved hypoxia-adaptive mechanisms, analogous to the alterations acquired by cancer cells during tumor development, with a bias against apoptosis while favoring cell arrest and DNA repair.
Article: Transcriptome sequencing of the blind subterranean mole rat, Spalax galili: utility and potential for the discovery of novel evolutionary patterns.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The blind subterranean mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies) is a model animal for survival under extreme environments due to its ability to live in underground habitats under severe hypoxic stress and darkness. Here we report the transcriptome sequencing of Spalax galili, a chromosomal type of S. ehrenbergi. cDNA pools from muscle and brain tissues isolated from animals exposed to hypoxic and normoxic conditions were sequenced using Sanger, GS FLX, and GS FLX Titanium technologies. Assembly of the sequences yielded over 51,000 isotigs with homology to ∼12,000 mouse, rat or human genes. Based on these results, it was possible to detect large numbers of splice variants, SNPs, and novel transcribed regions. In addition, multiple differential expression patterns were detected between tissues and treatments. The results presented here will serve as a valuable resource for future studies aimed at identifying genes and gene regions evolved during the adaptive radiation associated with underground life of the blind mole rat.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e21227. · 4.09 Impact Factor