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Science. 2019 May 17;364(6441):653-658. doi: 10.1126/science.aav9996.

Identification of a regeneration-organizing cell in the Xenopus tail.

Author information

1
Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
2
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
3
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
4
EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK.
5
Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK.
6
Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. jj256@gurdon.cam.ac.uk bds10@cam.ac.uk.
7
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
8
Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Unlike mammals, Xenopus laevis tadpoles have a high regenerative potential. To characterize this regenerative response, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing after tail amputation. By comparing naturally occurring regeneration-competent and -incompetent tadpoles, we identified a previously unrecognized cell type, which we term the regeneration-organizing cell (ROC). ROCs are present in the epidermis during normal tail development and specifically relocalize to the amputation plane of regeneration-competent tadpoles, forming the wound epidermis. Genetic ablation or manual removal of ROCs blocks regeneration, whereas transplantation of ROC-containing grafts induces ectopic outgrowths in early embryos. Transcriptional profiling revealed that ROCs secrete ligands associated with key regenerative pathways, signaling to progenitors to reconstitute lost tissue. These findings reveal the cellular mechanism through which ROCs form the wound epidermis and ensure successful regeneration.

PMID:
31097661
DOI:
10.1126/science.aav9996

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