Mitochondrial genetic diversity, selection and recombination in a canine transmissible cancer

Andrea Strakova, Máire Ní Leathlobhair, Guo Dong Wang, Ting Ting Yin, Ilona Airikkala-Otter, Janice L. Allen, Karen M. Allum, Leontine Bansse-Issa, Jocelyn L. Bisson, Artemio Castillo Domracheva, Karina F. De Castro, Anne M. Corrigan, Hugh R. Cran, Jane T. Crawford, Stephen M. Cutter, Laura Delgadillo Keenan, Edward M. Donelan, Ibikunle A. Faramade, Erika Flores Reynoso, Eleni FotopoulouSkye N. Fruean, Fanny Gallardo-Arrieta, Olga Glebova, Rodrigo F. Häfelin Manrique, Joaquim J.G.P. Henriques, Natalia Ignatenko, Debbie Koenig, Marta Lanza-Perea, Remo Lobetti, Adriana M. Lopezquintana, Thibault Losfelt, Gabriele Marino, Inigo Martincorena, Simón Martínez Castañeda, Mayra F. Martínez-López, Michael Meyer, Berna Nakanwagi, Andrigo B. De Nardi, Winifred Neunzig, Sally J. Nixon, Marsden M. Onsare, Antonio Ortega-Pacheco, Maria C. Peleteiro, Ruth J. Pye, John F. Reece, Jose Rojas Gutierrez, Haleema Sadia, Sheila K. Schmeling, Olga Shamanova, Richard K. Ssuna, Audrey E.Alla Steenland-Smitsvitich, Ismail Thoya Ngoka, Bogdan A. Vitǎlaru, Anna P. De Vos, Johan P. De Vos, Oliver Walkinton, David C. Wedge, Alvaro S. Wehrle-Martinez, Mirjam G. Van Der Wel, Sophie Ae Widdowson, Elizabeth P. Murchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is a clonally transmissible cancer that originated approximately 11,000 years ago and affects dogs worldwide. Despite the clonal origin of the CTVT nuclear genome, CTVT mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) have been acquired by periodic capture from transient hosts. We sequenced 449 complete mtDNAs from a global population of CTVTs, and show that mtDNA horizontal transfer has occurred at least five times, delineating five tumour clades whose distributions track two millennia of dog global migration. Negative selection has operated to prevent accumulation of deleterious mutations in captured mtDNA, and recombination has caused occasional mtDNA re-assortment. These findings implicate functional mtDNA as a driver of CTVT global metastatic spread, further highlighting the important role of mtDNA in cancer evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14552
Issue numberMAY2016
StatePublished - May 17 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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