Scientists at a reptile breeding facility have been breeding Lemon Frost Geckos for over a decade. The geckos get their name from the yellow skin on their sides and back as well as white skin along the bottom of the head and neck. The white skin along the bottom of the head and neck has a tendency to develop tumors made of the white skin cells which mimic the look of frost along the skin. In some of the geckos, these tumors were seen to have grown significantly and affects the animals ability to move as well as possibly causing infection after rupture.
Using geckos who had either inherited the traits from both parents, inherited the traits from one parent or did not have the trait at all scientists were able to trace the gene responsible for the tumors to a mutation on the SPINT1 gene. A gene which has been linked to cancer in humans as well as tumor formation in fish and mice. The continued studying of the expression of this gene can shed light on tumor suppression in Lemon Frost geckos which in turn can assist with the analysis of tumor suppression in skin cells of humans. Implying that Lemon Frost geckos will be a worthwhile disease model to study melanoma in humans due to the similarities of the cells involved in tumor formation of Lemon Frost Geckos and melanoma in humans.
This article is really fascinating, and I think it is amazing that by studying the tumors that form in these geckos can help with tumor suppression in humans as well. This seems like a very promising study, and I am interested in seeing the results in the future.ReplyDelete