Due to the close similarities of numerous canine diseases to their human counterparts, the dog could join the mouse as the species of choice to unravel the genetic background of complex diseases as e.g. cancer and metabolic diseases. Accordingly, the role of the dog as a model for therapeutic approaches is strongly increasing. However, prerequisite for such studies is the characterization of the corresponding canine genes. Recently, the human high mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) has attracted considerable interest of oncologists because of what is called its “double life”. Besides its function as an architectural transcription factor HMGB1 can also be secreted by certain cells and then acts as a ligand for the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). The binding of HMGB1 to RAGE can activate key cell signaling pathways, such as p38MAPK, JNK, and p42/p44MAPK emphasizing the important role of HMGB1 in inflammation and tumor metastasis. These results make HMGB1 a very interesting target for therapeutic studies done in model organisms like the dog. In this study we characterized the molecular structure of the canine HMGB1 gene on genomic and cDNA levels, its predicted protein, the gene locus and a basic expression pattern.   

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