regeneration in nature

Home » Planaria » follistatin and notum as organizer signaling center for planarian anterior regeneration

follistatin and notum as organizer signaling center for planarian anterior regeneration

Following up with my previous post on polarity reestablishment during planarian regeneration a recent paper from the laboratory of Phil Newmark (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23297191) reports that follistatin through antagonizing activin signaling and together with notum and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays an importat role during anterior regeneration. As the authors state although increasing information is being reported about the key role of different signaling pathways in establishing axial polarity during regeneration less data addresses the issue of whether organizing centers somehow equivalent to the organizers that control body patterning during embryonic development, are conserved during planarian regeneration. Under this perspective, this study provides evidence that in planarians an organizing center based on the action of follistatin and notum would be functioning to determine anterior identity. Therefore, this study clearly suggests that conserved organizing signaling centers (based on the interaction between the BMP and Wnt/β-catenin activities) may play similar functions during body patterning along the axis in both embryonic development and regeneration. In the case of planarians further studies should determine whether and how the follistatin and notum signaling directly interact to each other at the molecular level, as well as whether and how regulate morphogenesis and cell fate beyond their role in polarity.

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Francesc Cebrià

Francesc Cebrià

Francesc Cebrià

I am a Biologist and Professor at the University of Barcelona. I do my research on a fascinating animal: freshwater planarians. You can cut them in as many pieces as you want and each piece will regenerate a complete new flatworm in very few days. In this blog I will keep you updated on the latest news on the field of animal regeneration. You will be able to follow the latest research on how planarians, axolotls, newts, cnidarians and other animals are able to regenerate parts of their bodies

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