Cell Cycle Regulation and Regeneration

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Abstract

Regeneration of ear punch holes in the MRL mouse and amputated limbs of the axolotl show a number of similarities. A large proportion of the fibroblasts of the uninjured MRL mouse ear are arrested in G2 of the cell cycle, and enter nerve-dependent mitosis after injury to form a ring-shaped blastema that regenerates the ear tissue. Multiple cell types contribute to the establishment of the regeneration blastema of the urodele limb by dedifferentiation, and there is substantial reason to believe that the cells of this early blastema are also arrested in G2, and enter mitosis under the influence of nerve-dependent factors supplied by the apical epidermal cap. Molecular analysis reveals other parallels, such as; (1) the upregulation of Evi5, a centrosomal protein that prevents mitosis by stabilizing Emi1, a protein that inhibits the degradation of cyclins by the anaphase promoting complex and (2) the expression of sodium channels by the epidermis. A central feature in the entry into the cell cycle by MRL ear fibroblasts is a natural downregulation of p21, and knockout of p21 in wild-type mice confers regenerative capacity on non-regenerating ear tissue. Whether the same is true for entry into the cell cycle in regenerating urodele limbs is presently unknown.