Characterization of canine osteosarcoma by array comparative genomic hybridization and RT-qPCR: signatures of genomic imbalance in canine osteosarcoma parallel the human counterpart

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011 Nov;50(11):859-74. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20908. Epub 2011 Aug 11.


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most commonly diagnosed malignant bone tumor in humans and dogs, characterized in both species by extremely complex karyotypes exhibiting high frequencies of genomic imbalance. Evaluation of genomic signatures in human OS using array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) has assisted in uncovering genetic mechanisms that result in disease phenotype. Previous low-resolution (10-20 Mb) aCGH analysis of canine OS identified a wide range of recurrent DNA copy number aberrations, indicating extensive genomic instability. In this study, we profiled 123 canine OS tumors by 1 Mb-resolution aCGH to generate a dataset for direct comparison with current data for human OS, concluding that several high frequency aberrations in canine and human OS are orthologous. To ensure complete coverage of gene annotation, we identified the human refseq genes that map to these orthologous aberrant dog regions and found several candidate genes warranting evaluation for OS involvement. Specifically, subsequenct FISH and qRT-PCR analysis of RUNX2, TUSC3, and PTEN indicated that expression levels correlated with genomic copy number status, showcasing RUNX2 as an OS associated gene and TUSC3 as a possible tumor suppressor candidate. Together these data demonstrate the ability of genomic comparative oncology to identify genetic abberations which may be important for OS progression. Large scale screening of genomic imbalance in canine OS further validates the use of the dog as a suitable model for human cancers, supporting the idea that dysregulation discovered in canine cancers will provide an avenue for complementary study in human counterparts.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Bone Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / genetics
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Osteosarcoma / genetics*
  • Osteosarcoma / veterinary*
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase