Molecular characterisation of canine osteosarcoma in high risk breeds

Siobhan Simpson, Mark Dunning, Simone de Brot, Aziza Alibhai, Clara Bailey, Corinne L. Woodcock, Madeline Mestas, Shareen Akhtar, Jennie N. Jeyapalan, Jennifer Lothion-Roy, Richard D. Emes, Cinzia Allegrucci, Albert A. Rizvanov, Nigel P. Mongan, Catrin S. Rutland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dogs develop osteosarcoma (OSA) and the disease process closely resembles that of human OSA. OSA has a poor prognosis in both species and disease-free intervals and cure rates have not improved in recent years. Gene expression in canine OSAs was compared with non-tumor tissue utilising RNA sequencing, validated by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (n = 16). Polymorphic polyglutamine (polyQ) tracts in the androgen receptor (AR/NR3C4) and nuclear receptor coactivator 3 (NCOA3) genes were investigated in control and OSA patients using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis (n = 1019 Rottweilers, 379 Irish Wolfhounds). Our analysis identified 1281 significantly differentially expressed genes (>2 fold change, p < 0.05), specifically 839 lower and 442 elevated gene expression in osteosarcoma (n = 3) samples relative to non-malignant (n = 4) bone. Enriched pathways and gene ontologies were identified, which provide insight into the molecular pathways implicated in canine OSA. Expression of a subset of these genes (SLC2A1, DKK3, MMP3, POSTN, RBP4, ASPN) was validated by qRTPCR and immunohistochemistry (MMP3, DKK3, SLC2A1) respectively. While little variation was found in the NCOA3 polyQ tract, greater variation was present in both polyQ tracts in the AR, but no significant associations in length were made with OSA. The data provides novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of OSA in high risk breeds. This knowledge may inform development of new prevention strategies and treatments for OSA in dogs and supports utilising spontaneous OSA in dogs to improve understanding of the disease in people.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • canine
  • androgen
  • androgen receptor
  • bone
  • cancer risk
  • KEGG
  • Wiki


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular characterisation of canine osteosarcoma in high risk breeds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this