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Mech Dev. 2004 Jul;121(7-8):861-72.

Large-scale analysis of the genes involved in fin regeneration and blastema formation in the medaka, Oryzias latipes.

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Department of Biological Information, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan.


Medaka is an attractive model to study epimorphic regeneration. The fins have remarkable regenerative capacity and are replaced about 14 days after amputation. The formation of blastema, a mass of undifferentiated cells, is essential for regeneration; however, the molecular mechanisms are incompletely defined. To identify the genes required for fin regeneration, especially for blastema formation, we constructed cDNA libraries from fin regenerates at 3 days postamputation and 10 days postamputation. A total of 16,866 expression sequence tags (ESTs) were sequenced and subjected to BLASTX analysis. The result revealed that about 60% of them showed strong matches to previously identified proteins, and major signaling molecules related to development, including FGF, BMP, Wnt, Notch/Delta, and Ephrin/Eph signaling pathways were isolated. To identify novel genes that showed specific expression during fin regeneration, cDNA microarray was generated based on 2900 independent ESTs from each library which had no sequence similarity to known proteins. We obtained 6 candidate genes associated with blastema formation by gene expression pattern screening in competitive hybridization analyses and in situ hybridization. Olrfe16d23 and olrfe14k04 were expressed only in early regenerating stages when blastema formation was induced. The expression of olrf5n23, which encodes a novel signal peptide, was detected in wound epidermis throughout regeneration. Olrfe23l22, olrfe20n22, and olrfe24i02 were expressed notably in the blastema region. Our study has thus identified the gene expression profiles and some novel candidate genes to facilitate elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of fin regeneration.

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