Development and cancer: Two sides of the same coin

Anxo Vidal, Terence D. Capellini, Nancy Yeh, Licia Selleri, Andrew Koff, Timothy G. Bromage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In human evolutionary research, size and shape differences in the bone are the main object of study for human evolutionary research. DNA recovery from fossils is at most times an impossible task, thus limiting our ability to track genetic changes in evolution. Here we review how affecting the highly conserved cell cycle regulatory mechanisms can impact bone structure, resulting in measurable bone size and shape differences. We and others have used gene-knockout mouse models to demonstrate effects of genetic change on the developing skeleton, changes that we can detect in hard tissue size and shape. We discuss relationships between cancer and development, and the evolutionary implications of such links. Alterations in cell cycle regulatory genes are a common occurrence of cancer, so understanding the impact of the changes in cancer-related genes will give us insights into human evolutionary changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Congress Series
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Bone
  • Cancer
  • Cell cycle
  • Development
  • Knockout mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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