Planarian GSK3s are involved in neural regeneration
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Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is a key element in several signaling cascades that is known to be involved in both patterning and neuronal organization. It is, therefore, a good candidate to play a role in neural regeneration in planarians. We report the characterization of three GSK3 genes in Schmidtea mediterranea. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Smed-GSK3.1 is highly conserved compared to GSK3 sequences from other species, whereas Smed-GSK3.2 and Smed-GSK3.3 are more divergent. Treatment of regenerating planarians with 1-azakenpaullone, a synthetic GSK3 inhibitor, suggests that planarian GSK3s are essential for normal differentiation and morphogenesis of the nervous system. Cephalic ganglia appear smaller and disconnected in 1-azakenpaullone-treated animals, whereas visual axons are ectopically projected, and the pharynx does not regenerate properly. This phenotype is consistent with a role for Smed-GSK3s in neuronal polarization and axonal growth.
KeywordsPlanarians GSK3 Regeneration 1-Azakenpaullone
We would like to thank Dr. F Cebrià for providing Smed-RoboA and Smed-Slit riboprobes and for the critical reading of the manuscript, Dr. M Riutort for phylogenetic analysis, Dr. H Orii for providing anti-VC-1, and Dr. I Patten for advice on English style in a previous version. This work was supported by grants BMC2002-03992 and BFU2005-00422 from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain, and grant 2005SGR00769 from AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain). T.A. received a C-RED postdoctoral fellowship from La Generalitat de Catalunya, and M.M. was the recipient of a ‘Formación de Personal Investigador’ fellowship from Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología.
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