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C R Biol. 2007 Jun-Jul;330(6-7):485-90. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

Positional identity of adult stem cells in salamander limb regeneration.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Limb regeneration in larval and adult salamanders proceeds from a mound of mesenchymal stem cells called the limb blastema. The blastema gives rise just to those structures distal to its level of origin, and this property of positional identity is reset to more proximal values by treatment with retinoic acid. We have identified a cell surface protein, called Prod1/CD59, which appears to be a determinant of proximodistal identity. Prod1 is expressed in an exponential gradient in an adult limb as determined by detection of both mRNA and immunoreactive protein. Prod1 protein is up-regulated after treatment of distal blastemas with RA and this is particularly marked in cells of the dermis. These cells have previously been implicated in pattern formation during limb regeneration.

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