Bryant DM, Johnson K, DiTommaso T, Tickle T, Couger MB, Payzin-Dogru D, Lee TJ, Leigh ND, Kuo TH, Davis FG, Bateman J, Bryant S, Guzikowski AR, Tsai SL, Coyne S, Ye WW, Freeman RM, Peshkin L, Tabin CJ, Regev A, Haas BJ, Whited JL. 2017. A Tissue-Mapped Axolotl De Novo Transcriptome Enables Identification of Limb Regeneration Factors. Cell reports. 18(3):762-776. Pubmed: 28099853 DOI:S2211-1247(16)31770-3


Mammals have extremely limited regenerative capabilities; however, axolotls are profoundly regenerative and can replace entire limbs. The mechanisms underlying limb regeneration remain poorly understood, partly because the enormous and incompletely sequenced genomes of axolotls have hindered the study of genes facilitating regeneration. We assembled and annotated a de novo transcriptome using RNA-sequencing profiles for a broad spectrum of tissues that is estimated to have near-complete sequence information for 88% of axolotl genes. We devised expression analyses that identified the axolotl orthologs of cirbp and kazald1 as highly expressed and enriched in blastemas. Using morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotides, we find evidence that cirbp plays a cytoprotective role during limb regeneration whereas manipulation of kazald1 expression disrupts regeneration. Our transcriptome and annotation resources greatly complement previous transcriptomic studies and will be a valuable resource for future research in regenerative biology.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Jessica Whited studies limb regeneration in axolotl salamanders. Her lab develops tools to manipulate gene expression during limb regeneration, and explores signaling events following wound healing that initiate the regenerative process.

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