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Cancer tumors as Metazoa 1.0: Tapping genes of ancient ancestors

Davies, Paul; Lineweaver, Charles

Description

The genes of cellular cooperation that evolved with multicellularity about a billion years ago are the same genes that malfunction to cause cancer. We hypothesize that cancer is an atavistic condition that occurs when genetic or epigenetic malfunction unlocks an ancient 'toolkit' of pre-existing adaptations, re-establishing the dominance of an earlier layer of genes that controlled loose-knit colonies of only partially differentiated cells, similar to tumors. The existence of such a toolkit...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDavies, Paul
dc.contributor.authorLineweaver, Charles
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:23:10Z
dc.identifier.issn1478-3975
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/66839
dc.description.abstractThe genes of cellular cooperation that evolved with multicellularity about a billion years ago are the same genes that malfunction to cause cancer. We hypothesize that cancer is an atavistic condition that occurs when genetic or epigenetic malfunction unlocks an ancient 'toolkit' of pre-existing adaptations, re-establishing the dominance of an earlier layer of genes that controlled loose-knit colonies of only partially differentiated cells, similar to tumors. The existence of such a toolkit implies that the progress of the neoplasm in the host organism differs distinctively from normal Darwinian evolution. Comparative genomics and the phylogeny of basal metazoans, opisthokonta and basal multicellular eukaryotes should help identify the relevant genes and yield the order in which they evolved. This order will be a rough guide to the reverse order in which cancer develops, as mutations disrupt the genes of cellular cooperation. Our proposal is consistent with current understanding of cancer and explains the paradoxical rapidity with which cancer acquires a suite of mutually-supportive complex abilities. Finally we make several predictions and suggest ways to test this model.
dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
dc.sourcePhysical Biology
dc.subjectKeywords: Eukaryota; Fungi/Metazoa group; Metazoa; animal; article; evolution; gene; genetics; human; molecular evolution; neoplasm; phylogeny; Animals; Biological Evolution; Evolution, Molecular; Genes; Humans; Neoplasms; Phylogeny
dc.titleCancer tumors as Metazoa 1.0: Tapping genes of ancient ancestors
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume8
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor111299 - Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.absfor020101 - Astrobiology
local.identifier.absfor060399 - Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationf2965xPUB1354
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationDavies, Paul, Arizona State University
local.contributor.affiliationLineweaver, Charles, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage7
local.identifier.doi10.1088/1478-3975/8/1/015001
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T08:13:03Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-79951873316
local.identifier.thomsonID000287044600004
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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