Research Article

Identification of a regeneration-organizing cell in the Xenopus tail

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Science  17 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6441, pp. 653-658
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav9996

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A tale of tadpole tail regeneration

Some vertebrates, including some amphibians, show a remarkable, if sometimes restricted, ability to regenerate lost appendages. Aztekin et al. compared naturally occurring regeneration-competent and -incompetent Xenopus laevis tadpoles using single-cell messenger RNA sequencing. They identified regeneration-organizing cells (ROCs) that could coordinate tail regeneration. Relocation of ROCs from the body to the amputation plane enabled specialized wound epidermis formation and subsequent regeneration. ROCs simultaneously expressed many different ligands that can induce proliferation of different progenitor cell populations. Thus, by signaling to underlying progenitors, ROCs orchestrate the growth of a new appendage.

Science, this issue p. 653