Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.4, 1046-1053, 2020
Primary and immortalized cell lines derived from the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi) and evolutionally conserved cell cycle control with CDK4 and Cyclin D1
The Amami rabbit (Pentagulus furnessi) is a dark brown-furred rabbit classified as an endangered species and only found in the Amami Islands of Japan. They are often called living fossils because they retain primitive characteristics of ancient rabbits that lived approximately 1 million years ago, such as short feet and hind legs and small ears. Although the ancient rabbit has disappeared due to the competition with European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the most of the Asian area, Amami rabbit survived since Amami Islands has isolated from Japan and Taiwan. Although Amari rabbit is one of the protected animals, their population decreases each year due to human activities, such as deforestation and roadkill. In this study, we collected roadkill samples of Amami rabbits and established primary and immortalized fibroblast cell lines. Combined expression of human-derived mutant Cyclin-dependent kinase 4, Cyclin D1, and hTERT allowed us to immortalize fibroblasts successfully in three individuals of Amami rabbits. The immortalized fibroblasts dramatically extended the cell culture period, when it was compared with the cell culture period of wild type cells. Furthermore, the immortalized cells maintained their normal chromosomal pattern (2n = 46). Our results suggest that cellular senescence which mainly regulated by p16-RB signaling pathway is conserved in animal evolution at least from 1 million years ago. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.