The naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is one of the most promising models used to study genome maintenance systems, including the effective repair of damage to DNA. The naked mole-rat is the longest living rodent species, which is extraordinarily resistant to cancer and has a number of other unique phenotypic traits. For at least 80% of its lifespan, this animal shows no signs of aging or any increased likelihood of death and retains the ability to reproduce. The naked mole-rat draws the heightened attention of researchers who study the molecular basis of lengthy lifespan and cancer resistance. Despite the fact that the naked mole-rat lives under genotoxic stress conditions (oxidative, etc.), the main characteristics of its genome and proteome are high stability and effective functioning. Replicative senescence in the somatic cells of naked mole-rats is missing, while an additional p53/pRb-dependent mechanism of early contact inhibition has been revealed in its fibroblasts, which controls cell proliferation and its mechanism of arf-dependent aging. The unique traits of phenotypic and molecular adaptations found in the naked mole-rat speak to a high stability and effective functioning of the molecular machinery that counteract damage accumulation in its genome. This review analyzes existing results in the study of the molecular basis of longevity and high cancer resistance in naked mole-rats.
- Cancer resistance
- DNA repair
- Genome and proteome stability
- Heterocephalus glaber