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


Smed-Evi/Wntless is required for β-catenin-dependent and -independent processes during planarian regeneration
Teresa Adell, Emili Salò, Michael Boutros, Kerstin Bartscherer


Planarians can regenerate a whole animal from only a small piece of their body, and have become an important model for stem cell biology. To identify regenerative processes dependent on Wnt growth factors in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Smed), we analyzed RNAi phenotypes of Evi, a transmembrane protein specifically required for the secretion of Wnt ligands. We show that, during regeneration, Smed-evi loss-of-function prevents posterior identity, leading to two-headed planarians that resemble Smed-catenin1 RNAi animals. In addition, we observe regeneration defects of the nervous system that are not found after Smed-catenin1 RNAi. By systematic knockdown of all putative Smed Wnts in regenerating planarians, we identify Smed-WntP-1 and Smed-Wnt11-2 as the putative posterior organizers, and demonstrate that Smed-Wnt5 is a regulator of neuronal organization and growth. Thus, our study provides evidence that planarian Wnts are major regulators of regeneration, and that they signal through β-catenin-dependent and -independent pathways.


  • We thank F. Cebrià for helpful advice; M. Riutort for help with phylogenetic analysis of Wnt proteins; M. Carl and A. Ragab for comments on the manuscript; B. Lang and T. Horn for bioinformatics support; F. Cebrià and P. Newmark for providing Smed-gluR, septin and eye53 clones; H. Orii and K. Watanabe for providing anti-Arrestin. K.B. thanks M. Osborn and M. Schäfer for advice. This work was supported by a Marie Curie Excellence grant from the European Commission, the German Research Foundation and by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain.

  • Supplementary material

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/136/6/905/DC1

    • Accepted January 12, 2009.
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