• canine;
  • cell cycle;
  • mammary cancer;
  • p21/Cip1;
  • p53;
  • SIRT2;
  • tumour suppressor genes;
  • Wip1


We have characterized gene dysfunction in a cellular model of spontaneous canine mammary cancer by investigating specific gene defects in SIRT2 and p53 genes for comparative studies among canine tumour-derived cell lines. These genes and their downstream targets are involved in regulating gene silencing, cell cycle progression and prevention of senescence and apoptosis. Canine SIR2 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction amplicons were most homologous to human SIRT2 and revealed detectable transcripts in all cell lines. Canine SIRT2 contained non-conserved amino acid substitutions, representing mutations or allelic differences and interspecies differences. Sequence differences between individuals in p53 and SIRT2 were found in two cell lines including a stop codon in p53 and substitutions of conserved cysteine residues in the Zn2+-binding motif in SIRT2. Mutations in SIRT2 were coincident with expression of the p53 modulator, Wip1; a failure to activate p21/Cip1 and extended G2/M phase. A third cell line appeared to function normally in these two pathways and likely possesses other defects in proliferation-control genes. This data identify potentially important defects in pathways regulated by p53 and SIRT2 that modulate cell proliferation and integrate development, apoptosis and proliferative lifespan. These genes offer promising therapeutic targets, contributing to the transformed/immortalized phenotype in spontaneous canine mammary cancer.