The naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), also known as sand puppy or desert mole rat, is a burrowing rodent native to parts of East Africa. This unusual mammal has plenty of fantastic physiology features that make it a unique animal model for researchers in a variety of fields.
Naked mole-rat holds a record longevity of 32 years, making it the longest-living rodent with a 6-10 longer lifespan than expected based on its body size. It displays negligible senescence, characterized by very slow changes in physiological parameters with age, lack of an age-related increase in mortality rate, and high fecundity rate until death. In addition to the extraordinary longevity, naked mole-rat shows an unusual resistance to cancer. Furthermore, these animals have a highly unusual set of physical traits, such as a lack of pain sensation in its skin and extreme hypoxia tolerance, that enable them to thrive in a harsh, underground environment.
We present the entire naked mole-rat genome sequence, as well as gene structure and functional annotation. Information is also provided on gene expression levels in three organs. We hope these data will contribute to a better understanding of genetic and biological basis for naked mole-rat's extraordinary features.