責任著者のDunning Hotoppさん(これだけで苗字だと思われる)は、以前様々な昆虫からボルバキアゲノムの断片が見つかったという衝撃の論文をScienceに出した研究者。

  • Robinson KM, Sieber KB, Dunning Hotopp JC (2013) A Review of Bacteria-Animal Lateral Gene Transfer May Inform Our Understanding of Diseases like Cancer. PLoS Genet 9(10): e1003877. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003877


Bacteria cause cancer?

Genome fragment of Wolbachia (symbiotic bacteria of insects) has been found from genome of various insects (so called lateral gene transfer). Compared to invertebrates, germ cells of vertebrates are physically and immunologically  protected from bacteria. So it seems very rare that bacterial genome fragments are integrated in the germ cells and inherited in vertebrates. However, somatic cells are prone to integration of bacterial genome fragments and this would occur within a single generation. The above paper proposes that this may be the cause of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Comparison between healthy cells and cancer cells revealed a higher frequency of bacterial genome fragments in cancer cells. Dr. Dunning Hotopp, a corresponding author of this paper, is a scientist who previously published in Science a influential paper about the frequent occurrence of Wolbachia genome fragments in various insects.