Nature communications

Tumour resistance in induced pluripotent stem cells derived from naked mole-rats.

PMID 27161380


The naked mole-rat (NMR, Heterocephalus glaber), which is the longest-lived rodent species, exhibits extraordinary resistance to cancer. Here we report that NMR somatic cells exhibit a unique tumour-suppressor response to reprogramming induction. In this study, we generate NMR-induced pluripotent stem cells (NMR-iPSCs) and find that NMR-iPSCs do not exhibit teratoma-forming tumorigenicity due to the species-specific activation of tumour-suppressor alternative reading frame (ARF) and a disruption mutation of the oncogene ES cell-expressed Ras (ERAS). The forced expression of Arf in mouse iPSCs markedly reduces tumorigenicity. Furthermore, we identify an NMR-specific tumour-suppression phenotype-ARF suppression-induced senescence (ASIS)-that may protect iPSCs and somatic cells from ARF suppression and, as a consequence, tumorigenicity. Thus, NMR-specific ARF regulation and the disruption of ERAS regulate tumour resistance in NMR-iPSCs. Our findings obtained from studies of NMR-iPSCs provide new insight into the mechanisms of tumorigenicity in iPSCs and cancer resistance in the NMR.