The Spark of Life: Electricity and Regeneration

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Science's STKE  25 Sep 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 405, pp. pe54
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4052007pe54

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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.

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