Genome-wide analysis of gene expression during Xenopus tropicalis tadpole tail regeneration

Nick R. Love, Yaoyao Chen, Boyan Bonev, Michael J. Gilchrist, Lynne Fairclough, Robert Lea, Timothy J. Mohun, Roberto Paredes, Leo Ah Zeef, Enrique Amaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The molecular mechanisms governing vertebrate appendage regeneration remain poorly understood. Uncovering these mechanisms may lead to novel therapies aimed at alleviating human disfigurement and visible loss of function following injury. Here, we explore tadpole tail regeneration in Xenopus tropicalis, a diploid frog with a sequenced genome. Results: We found that, like the traditionally used Xenopus laevis, the Xenopus tropicalis tadpole has the capacity to regenerate its tail following amputation, including its spinal cord, muscle, and major blood vessels. We examined gene expression using the Xenopus tropicalis Affymetrix genome array during three phases of regeneration, uncovering more than 1,000 genes that are significantly modulated during tail regeneration. Target validation, using RT-qPCR followed by gene ontology (GO) analysis, revealed a dynamic regulation of genes involved in the inflammatory response, intracellular metabolism, and energy regulation. Meta-analyses of the array data and validation by RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization uncovered a subset of genes upregulated during the early and intermediate phases of regeneration that are involved in the generation of NADP/H, suggesting that these pathways may be important for proper tail regeneration. Conclusions: The Xenopus tropicalis tadpole is a powerful model to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of vertebrate appendage regeneration. We have produced a novel and substantial microarray data set examining gene expression during vertebrate appendage regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2011


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