Intrinsic gene expression during regeneration in arm explants of Amphiura filiformis

The extensive regeneration ability of ophiuroids, particularly in relation to arm re-growth following amputation, is becoming increasingly recognized as a useful model system for understanding cellular differentiation and regeneration in a whole animal context. Amputated ophiuroid arms are referred to as explants. These are able to survive for several months in seawater and, when amputated at both ends (“double amputated”), can undergo partial regeneration at one end and wound healing at the other. As such, they present a simplified and controlled regenerating model system which can potentially provide clues as to the mechanism involved in the programming and polarity of cellular differentiation. In this first investigation of gene expression in an ophiuroid explant we used cDNA microarrays in the transcriptional profiling of the proximal, medial and distal sections of double amputated explants of the temperate brittle star Amphiura filiformis. The results demonstrated an active transcriptome with extensive differential gene expression focused at the original distal part of the arm explant where the regenerating blastema was located. The transcription profiles also revealed that expression patterns showed subtle differences in the levels of gene expression rather than the presence or absence of certain genes. The sections of arm under study were no longer attached to the whole animal and therefore reduced levels of activity of some transcripts e.g. ciboulot, a gene potentially involved in cell differentiation events such as neuronal development, suggest that transcript dosage and/or relative expression of certain gene combinations may play an important role in the progression of cellular differentiation events.


Publication status:
Authors: Burns, Gavin, Ortega-Martinez, Olga, Dupont, Samuel, Thorndyke, Michael C., Peck, Lloyd, Clark, Melody

On this site: Lloyd Peck, Melody Clark
1 January, 2012
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology / 413
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