Sci. Signal., 22 January 2008
Development Heads or Tails
Beverly A. Purnell
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
Planarians--tubular flatworms--can regenerate all of their body parts and entire organ systems after amputation. However, the mechanism by which the animal "knows" how to generate a head after head removal or a tail after tail removal, a property called regeneration polarity, is unknown. Gurley et al. and Petersen and Reddien now find that a conserved factor within the Wnt signaling pathway is used to distinguish head from tail. Decreased Wnt signaling through β-catenin causes the regeneration of heads, whereas activation of Wnt signaling induces tails. β-catenin also maintains the anteroposterior body axis in uncut animals.
Citation: B. A. Purnell, Heads or Tails. Sci. Signal. 1, ec26 (2008).
The editors suggest the following Related Resources on Science sites:
In Science Signaling
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882