A Morpholino oligo can modify splicing of a pre-mRNA - www.gene-tools.com



An amputated cricket leg regenerates all missing parts with normal size and shape, indicating that regenerating blastemal cells are aware of both their position and the normal size of the leg. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating this process remain elusive. Here, we use a cricket model to show that the Dachsous/Fat (Ds/Ft) signalling pathway is essential for leg regeneration. We found that knockdown of ft or ds transcripts by regeneration-dependent RNA interference (rdRNAi) suppressed proliferation of the regenerating cells along the proximodistal (PD) axis concomitantly with remodelling of the pre-existing stump, making the regenerated legs shorter than normal. By contrast, knockdown of the expanded (ex) or Merlin (Mer) transcripts induced over-proliferation of the regenerating cells, making the regenerated legs longer. These results are consistent with those obtained using rdRNAi during intercalary regeneration induced by leg transplantation. We present a model to explain our results in which the steepness of the Ds/Ft gradient controls growth along the PD axis of the regenerating leg.


  • We thank K. D. Irvine, H. Meinhardt, P. A. Lawrence and two anonymous reviewers for critical comments and valuable suggestions, and Y. Tanaka for technical advices. This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan to T.M., H.O., and S.N. and by a grant from the Knowledge Clusters Initiative Projects to T.B., H.O. and S.N.

  • * Present address: Japan Science and Technology Agency, Innovation Satellite Tokushima, The University of Tokushima VBL4F, 2-1 Minami-Jyosanjima-cho, Tokushima city, 770-8506, Japan

    • Accepted April 28, 2009.
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