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To grow or not to grow: a step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration
Date:3/27/2014

eration in the zebrafish caudal fin. They discovered that only the transport of hydrogen ions or protons (H+) played a role in the regenerative process. The research team observed that this transport occurred via V-ATPase enzyme, that forms a channel in the cell membrane and pumps H+ out of the cell. The researchers discovered that the activity of this electric signal is necessary in different aspects of normal regeneration, namely for the expression of crucial genes, formation of a mass of cells capable of growth and regenerate, and proper tissue innervation. The researchers found that this electric current was also important to coordinate other proteins that could establish a positional memory to ensure the correct regeneration of the injured tissue.

Joaqun Rodrguez-Len says: "Scientists use different strategies to unveil the mechanisms behind regeneration to apply this knowledge in the future clinical practice. Some teams are studying the potential of stem cells and others try to understand why some animals can regenerate. Our team contributes to understand how the cellular machinery, that is similar in all vertebrates, can regenerate a structure in an animal. Particular cellular machinery needs to be "switched on" and that is what we try to understand. Using the zebrafish as a model, we have found that an essential feature of cells, ion dynamics, contributes to the regeneration of limbs. Specifically, we have found that H+ (protons) actively contribute to create an electric current that is needed for proper regeneration."


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Contact: Ana Mena
anamena@igc.gulbenkian.pt
351-214-407-959
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
Source:Eurekalert  

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