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Two of a kind: transmissible Schwann cell cancers in the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Patchett, AL ORCID: 0000-0002-8424-4680, Coorens, THH, Darby, J, Wilson, R ORCID: 0000-0003-0152-4394, McKay, MJ, Kamath, KS, Rubin, A, Wakefield, M, Mcintosh, L, Mangiola, S, Pye, RJ ORCID: 0000-0002-1001-3329, Flies, AS ORCID: 0000-0002-4550-1859, Corcoran, LM, Lyons, AB ORCID: 0000-0002-8508-5853, Woods, GM ORCID: 0000-0001-8421-7917, Murchison, EP, Papenfuss, AT and Tovar, C ORCID: 0000-0001-9555-2489 2019 , 'Two of a kind: transmissible Schwann cell cancers in the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)' , Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03259-2.

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Abstract

Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) comprises two genetically distinct transmissible cancers (DFT1 and DFT2) endangering the survival of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) in the wild. DFT1 first arose from a cell of the Schwann cell lineage; however, the tissue-of-origin of the recently discovered DFT2 cancer is unknown. In this study, we compared the transcriptome and proteome of DFT2 tumours to DFT1 and normal Tasmanian devil tissues to determine the tissue-of-origin of the DFT2 cancer. Our findings demonstrate that DFT2 expresses a range of Schwann cell markers and exhibits expression patterns consistent with a similar origin to the DFT1 cancer. Furthermore, DFT2 cells express genes associated with the repair response to peripheral nerve damage. These findings suggest that devils may be predisposed to transmissible cancers of Schwann cell origin. The combined effect of factors such as frequent nerve damage from biting, Schwann cell plasticity and low genetic diversity may allow these cancers to develop on rare occasions. The emergence of two independent transmissible cancers from the same tissue in the Tasmanian devil presents an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into cancer development, evolution and immune evasion in mammalian species.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Patchett, AL and Coorens, THH and Darby, J and Wilson, R and McKay, MJ and Kamath, KS and Rubin, A and Wakefield, M and Mcintosh, L and Mangiola, S and Pye, RJ and Flies, AS and Corcoran, LM and Lyons, AB and Woods, GM and Murchison, EP and Papenfuss, AT and Tovar, C
Keywords: contagious cancer, DFT2, devil facial tumour disease, schwann cell, Tasmanian devil, transmissible cancer
Journal or Publication Title: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag Ag
ISSN: 1420-682X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00018-019-03259-2
Copyright Information:

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019This is a post-print of an article first published online on 2/8/19. Post-prints are subject to Springer Nature re-use terms https://www.springer.com/gp/open-access/publication-policies/aam-terms-of-use

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