|Naked mole-rat (NMR, Heterocephalus glaber) is a subterranean mammal native to Africa, having two extraordinary characteristics: 1) longevity, being the longest-living rodent on the earth (around 30 years), although its body mass is similar to that of the house mouse, and 2) cancer resistance.
Being the only breeding and research facility of NMR in Japan, we are studying the mechanisms of NMR's extraordinary resistance to aging and cancer. Recently, we showed that NMR exhibits extraordinary resistance against potent chemical carcinogenesis induction through a dampened inflammatory response, and revealed one of the molecular mechanisms of this resistance (Commun. Biol., 2022). Now, we are studying the molecular mechanisms of NMR's resistance to aging and cancer from the perspectives of cellular senescence, metabolism, and so on. One of our research goals is to recapitulate the NMR's aging- and cancer-resistant phenotypes in mouse by introducing NMR genes. In the future, understanding the anti-aging and anti-cancer mechanisms of NMR would lead to advances in human treatments. We are also interested in studying the regulation of unique eusociality observed in NMR.