Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - MIDIA (Molecular indicators of DNA damage in aquatic organisms)

Disseminated neoplasia is a type of cancer that has been reported in mussels from numerous locations worldwide. This condition is progressive and fatal and the precise cause is unknown. In vertebrates such as humans, particular genes play important roles in the development of cancer. Our objectives were to find a number of mussel cancer genes and determine if they were similarly involved in the development of cancer.

We have isolated such key genes from mussels that are apparently similar to the human versions. Neoplastic blood samples derived from mussels have been investigated for the presence of gene mutations and changes in gene expression to establish if these may be the cause of this particular cancer in the mussels. Changes in gene expression were found in a particular gene (named ras) but not in another (named p53). No mutations were detected in a preliminary investigation.

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