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Bioessays. 2009 Jan;31(1):5-9. doi: 10.1002/bies.080193.

Beta-catenin and axis formation in planarians.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Spemannstr. 35, D72076 Tübingen, Germany.


In three recent articles it was shown that beta-catenin is crucial for the establishment and the maintenance of the overall polarity and especially for the character 'posterior' in planarians. If the transcription of the beta-catenin gene was silenced by RNA interference, the overall polarity is lost, and in regenerating fragments a posterior blastema displays anterior characters by forming eyes and anterior ganglia. An attempt is made to integrate these new data, well-known older observations, and observations from other regenerating systems into an outline of a model that will clarify our current understanding as well as highlight areas still to be developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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