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Sci. STKE, 25 September 2007
Vol. 2007, Issue 405, p. pe54
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.4052007pe54]


The Spark of Life: Electricity and Regeneration

Jonathan M. W. Slack*

Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, McGuire Translational Research Facility, 2001 6th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Abstract: A recent paper shows that a proton pump, the vacuolar-type adenosine triphosphatase (V-ATPase), is necessary for Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration. The V-ATPase is synthesized in distal cells of the regeneration bud as an early response to amputation, and its role in regeneration is specifically to pump H+ out of cells. Although the downstream effects of proton movement are not known, they may be mediated through changes in membrane potential. This work could reopen a consideration of the role of electric fields in regeneration, an issue that has caused much controversy in the past.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, slack017{at}

Citation: J. M. W. Slack, The Spark of Life: Electricity and Regeneration. Sci. STKE 2007, pe54 (2007).

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