Identifying the Key Genes for Regeneration
This video describes how scientists silence different genes in regenerating planaria to study the process of regeneration at the molecular level.
Planaria have an amazing ability to regenerate lost or damaged tissues. Identifying the key molecules involved in this process may offer clues into how regeneration works in many species, including humans. HHMI investigator Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado and postdoctoral fellow Alice Accorsi, both at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, describe how they use RNA-mediated genetic interference (RNAi) to silence two genes potentially involved in planarian regeneration: beta-catenin and APC. They find that animals with a silenced beta-catenin gene regenerate two heads, while animals with a silenced APC gene regenerate two tails! This indicates that these two genes are involved in controlling regeneration. Using these tools to study other genes will allow researchers to understand the molecular pathways involved in this important process.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
APC, beta catenin, cell fate, differentiation, planaria, RNA interference, stem cell
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AP Biology (2019)
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