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Antagonistic self-organizing patterning systems control maintenance and regeneration of the anteroposterior axis in planarians.

MPS-Authors
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Cleland,  J. P.
Department of Tissue Dynamics and Regeneration, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Rink,  J. C.
Department of Tissue Dynamics and Regeneration, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Stückemann, T., Cleland, J. P., Werner, S., Vu, H. T. K., Bayersdorf, R., Liu, S. Y., et al. (2017). Antagonistic self-organizing patterning systems control maintenance and regeneration of the anteroposterior axis in planarians. Developmental Cell, 40(3), 248-263. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2016.12.024.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A0EA-E
Abstract
Planarian flatworms maintain their body plan in the face of constant internal turnover and can regenerate from arbitrary tissue fragments. Both phenomena require self-maintaining and self-organizing patterning mechanisms, the molecular mechanisms of which remain poorly understood. We show that a morphogenic gradient of canonical Wnt signaling patterns gene expression along the planarian anteroposterior (A/P) axis. Our results demonstrate that gradient formation likely occurs autonomously in the tail and that an autoregulatory module of Wnt-mediated Wnt expression both shapes the gradient at steady state and governs its re-establishment during regeneration. Functional antagonism between the tail Wnt gradient and an unknown head patterning system further determines the spatial proportions of the planarian A/P axis and mediates mutually exclusive molecular fate choices during regeneration. Overall, our results suggest that the planarian A/P axis is patterned by self-organizing patterning systems deployed from either end that are functionally coupled by mutual antagonism.