1. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
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Wnt, Ptk7, and FGFRL expression gradients control trunk positional identity in planarian regeneration

  1. Rachel Lander
  2. Christian Petersen  Is a corresponding author
  1. Northwestern University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 43
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e12850 doi: 10.7554/eLife.12850

Abstract

Mechanisms enabling positional identity re-establishment are likely critical for tissue regeneration. Planarians use Wnt/beta-catenin signaling to polarize the termini of their anteroposterior axis, but little is known about how regeneration signaling restores regionalization along body or organ axes. We identify three genes expressed constitutively in overlapping body-wide transcriptional gradients that control trunk-tail positional identity in regeneration. ptk7 encodes a trunk-expressed kinase-dead Wnt co-receptor, wntP-2 encodes a posterior-expressed Wnt ligand, and ndl-3 encodes an anterior-expressed homolog of conserved FGFRL/nou-darake decoy receptors. ptk7 and wntP-2 maintain and allow appropriate regeneration of trunk tissue position independently of canonical Wnt signaling and with suppression of ndl-3 expression in the posterior. These results suggest that restoration of regional identity in regeneration involves the interpretation and re-establishment of axis-wide transcriptional gradients of signaling molecules.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Rachel Lander

    Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Christian Petersen

    Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
    For correspondence
    christian-p-petersen@northwestern.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: November 6, 2015
  2. Accepted: April 9, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 13, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 12, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Lander & Petersen

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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