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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1279. doi: 10.1038/srep01279.

Agr genes, missing in amniotes, are involved in the body appendages regeneration in frog tadpoles.

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1] Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


Previous studies have shown that Agr genes, which encode thioredoxin domain-containing secreted proteins, play a critical role in limb regeneration in salamanders. To determine the evolutionary conservation of Agr function, it is important to examine whether Agrs play a similar role in species with a different type of regeneration. Here, we refined the phylogeny of Agrs, revealing three subfamilies: Ag1, Agr2 and Agr3. Importantly, we established that Ag1 was lost in higher vertebrates, which correlates with their decreased regeneration ability. In Xenopus laevis tadpoles (anamniotes), which have all three Agr subfamilies and a high regenerating capacity, Agrs were activated in the stumps of tails and hindlimb buds that were amputated at stage 52. However, Agrs were not up-regulated when the hindlimb buds were amputated at stage 57, the stage at which their regeneration capacity is lost. Our findings indicate the general importance of Agrs for body appendages regeneration in amphibians.

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