Source: UCDavis

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, conducted a study with over 300 golden retrievers to investigate genetic factors associated with longer life in this breed. While golden retrievers are popular, they are prone to cancer, with up to a 65% chance of cancer-related mortality. Rather than searching for genes linked to cancer, the researchers focused on genes that promote longevity. They discovered a gene, HER4 (also known as ERBB4), which belongs to the family of human epidermal growth factor receptors.

Specific variants of HER4 were linked to an increased lifespan of nearly two years in golden retrievers. This finding may be relevant to humans, as dogs and humans share some similar cancer types. The study’s results suggest that HER4 may play a role in mitigating the impact of cancer-predisposing genes. The research could potentially contribute to future cancer studies in both dogs and humans. The gene variant appeared more influential in female dogs and is associated with processing environmental toxins and interacting with hormones like estrogen. The researchers plan to expand their study to replicate and understand these results better.

Read the full story HERE: