Of Life and Limb

Science's STKE  06 Nov 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 411, pp. tw405
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4112007tw405

The ability of amphibians to regenerate an amputated limb represents a developmental flexibility largely lost for humans. The regeneration process in amphibians depends on interactions with the nerve supply. Kumar et al. (see the Perspective by Stocum) have now identified a secreted protein growth factor expressed in the nerves and epidermis of newts during limb regeneration that can serve to support regeneration even when the nerve supply is removed.

A. Kumar, J. W. Godwin, P. B. Gates, A. A. Garza-Garcia, J. P. Brockes, Molecular basis for the nerve dependence of limb regeneration in an adult vertebrate. Science 318, 772-777 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. L. Stocum, Acceptable nAGging. Science 318, 754-755 (2007). [Summary] [Full Text]