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Bioessays. 2014 Jan;36(1):27-33. doi: 10.1002/bies.201300110. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Carbohydrate metabolism during vertebrate appendage regeneration: what is its role? How is it regulated?: A postulation that regenerating vertebrate appendages facilitate glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways to fuel macromolecule biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; The Healing Foundation Centre, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; Laboratory for Organogenesis and Neurogenesis, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Chuo-Ku, Kobe, Japan.


We recently examined gene expression during Xenopus tadpole tail appendage regeneration and found that carbohydrate regulatory genes were dramatically altered during the regeneration process. In this essay, we speculate that these changes in gene expression play an essential role during regeneration by stimulating the anabolic pathways required for the reconstruction of a new appendage. We hypothesize that during regeneration, cells use leptin, slc2a3, proinsulin, g6pd, hif1α expression, receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to promote glucose entry into glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), thus stimulating macromolecular biosynthesis. We suggest that this metabolic shift is integral to the appendage regeneration program and that the Xenopus model is a powerful experimental system to further explore this phenomenon. Also watch the Video Abstract.

© 2013 The Authors. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.


Warburg effect; Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration; genetically encoded indicator; glycolysis; metabolism; pentose phosphate pathway; tissue regeneration

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