Questo studio, sebbene non sia completamente antivivisezionista, spiega il ruolo dell’evoluzione nella differenza delle funzioni delle proteine nelle varie specie e invita alla cautela nell’uso del modello animale, con particolare riferimento ai modelli transgenici:
“Changes in essentiality between species were associated with adaptive evolution of the proteins, consistent with previous findings that changes in protein function are often associated with rapid evolution. By examining the evolution of genes that have changed essentiality between humans and mice in a broader context, they found that positive selection was much more common in the human lineage than in the rodent, suggesting that the differences in essentiality arose during human evolution”

“the assumption that gene functions and genetic systems are conserved between models and humans is taken for granted, often in spite of evidence that gene functions and networks diverge during evolution. In this review, I discuss some mechanisms that generate functional divergence and highlight recent examples demonstrating that gene functions and regulatory networks diverge through time.”

“Therefore, animal models of gene function and human disease may not provide appropriate information, particularly for rapidly evolving genes and systems.”

“Annotation of gene functions based solely on mutant phenotypes in animal models, as well as assumptions of conserved functions between species, may be misleading. Perhaps more importantly, animal models of human disease may not provide appropriate information on gene function, particularly for rapidly evolving genes and systems.”

“It is vitally important to demonstrate equivalence between the model and human gene with respect to the particular function under study to avoid spurious conclusions.”

Vincent J. Lynch
Use with caution: Developmental systems divergence and potential pitfalls of animal models
Yale J Biol Med. 2009 June; 82(2): 53–66.

FULL TEXT: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701150/



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