Naked mole-rat (NMR), a subterranean mammal native to Africa, is the longest-living rodent species and exhibit extraordinary cancer-resistance. NMRs live up to around 30 years, 10 times longer than mice, and captured colonies almost never show tumor formation. Understanding these animals’ anti-cancer and longevity mechanisms may lead to advances in human treatments in the future.

NMR is also known as one of two mammals that have eusociality like ant or bee. This subterranean rodent lives in a large colony averaging 60-80 individuals, including a single breeding “queen”, one-to-some breeding males and many sterile subordinates. We are also interested in studying the regulation of unique eusociality observed in NMR.

Our research themes

I. Molecular mechanisms of NMR’s longevity and cancer-resistance.

  • – Tumor resistance in NMR-iPS cells (Nat. Commun, 2016) press release
  • – NMR-specific response to cellular senescence induction.
  • – NMR-specific low metabolism.
  • – NMR-specific tumor-suppression phenotype, ASIS (ARF-suppression-induced senescence)
  • – Identification of the “NMR-specific genes” by the comparison of mRNA-seq data among species

II. Social organization in NMR