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Comment & Response |

TP53 Gene and Cancer Resistance in Elephants—Reply

Joshua D. Schiffman, MD1; Dennis L. Schmitt, DVM, PhD2; Carlo C. Maley, PhD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1University of Utah, Salt Lake City
2Ringling Bros Center for Elephant Conservation, Polk City, Florida
3Arizona State University, Tempe
JAMA. 2016;315(16):1790-1791. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0457.
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In Reply We agree with Dr Casola that we may have misused the term allele in reference to the additional elephant TP53 (ep53) genes. We also agree, as highlighted in our article, that the exact role of ep53 remains to be determined. Ep53 appears to originate from ancient reverse transcription of TP53 mRNA, followed by a large number of gene duplications. A retrotransposed gene can still encode a protein even if not identical to the ancestral protein, as indicated by our experiments with ep53 retrogene 9. It is unclear if the additional ep53 genes should be called retrogenes or retropseudogenes. Laboratory experiments to answer these questions are ongoing.


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April 26, 2016
Claudio Casola, PhD
1Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A & M University, College Station
JAMA. 2016;315(16):1788-1789. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0440.
April 26, 2016
Raymond P. Perez, MD; Takefumi Komiya, MD, PhD
1Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
JAMA. 2016;315(16):1789-1790. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0446.
April 26, 2016
Allan P. Pessier, DVM; Jere K. Stern, BS; Carmel L. Witte, MS
1Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, California
2College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville
JAMA. 2016;315(16):1789. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0449.
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