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Transcriptomic profiling of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from south Texas


Blackburn, NB and Leandro, AC and Nahvi, N and Devlin, MA and Leandro, M and Martinez Escobedo, I and Peralta Fernandez, JM and George, J and Stacy, BA and deMaar, TW and Blangero, J and Keniry, M and Curran, JE, Transcriptomic profiling of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from south Texas, Frontiers in Immunology, 12 pp. 1-16. ISSN 1664-3224 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 Blackburn, Leandro, Nahvi, Devlin, Leandro, Martinez Escobedo, Peralta, George, Stacy, deMaar, Blangero, Keniry and Curran. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (

DOI: doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.630988


Sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor promoting disease that is one of several threats globally to endangered sea turtle populations. The prevalence of FP is highest in green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations, and historically has shown considerable temporal growth. FP tumors can significantly affect the ability of turtles to forage for food and avoid predation and can grow to debilitating sizes. In the current study, based in South Texas, we have applied transcriptome sequencing to FP tumors and healthy control tissue to study the gene expression profiles of FP. By identifying differentially expressed turtle genes in FP, and matching these genes to their closest human ortholog we draw on the wealth of human based knowledge, specifically human cancer, to identify new insights into the biology of sea turtle FP. We show that several genes aberrantly expressed in FP tumors have known tumor promoting biology in humans, including CTHRC1 and NLRC5, and provide support that disruption of the Wnt signaling pathway is a feature of FP. Further, we profiled the expression of current targets of immune checkpoint inhibitors from human oncology in FP tumors and identified potential candidates for future studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:green sea turtle, fibropapilloma, transcriptomics, RNA-seq
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Bioinformatics and computational biology
Research Field:Genomics and transcriptomics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Blackburn, NB (Dr Nicholas Blackburn)
UTAS Author:Peralta Fernandez, JM (Mr Juan Peralta Fernandez)
ID Code:144764
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-08
Last Modified:2022-08-25
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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