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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol August 1, 2017; 210 55-63.

Identification and expression characterization of WntA during intestinal regeneration in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

Li X , Sun L , Yang H , Zhang L , Miao T , Xing L , Huo D .

Wnt genes encode secreted glycoproteins that act as signaling molecules; these molecules direct cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival during animal development, maintenance of homeostasis and regeneration. At present, although the regeneration mechanism in Apostichopus japonicus has been studied, there is a little research on the Wnt signaling pathway in A. japonicus. To understand the potential role of the Wnt signaling pathway in A. japonicus, we cloned and sequenced the WntA gene in A. japonicus. Protein localization analysis showed that WntA protein was ubiquitously expressed in epidermal cells, the muscle and submucosa of the intestinal tissue. After stimulation and evisceration, the dynamic changes in expression of the WntA gene and protein showed that WntA was constitutively expressed during different stages of intestine regeneration in A. japonicus, with higher levels during the early wound healing stage and late lumen formation in the residual and nascent intestinal tissues, indicating its response to intestinal regeneration. Simultaneously, cell proliferation and apoptosis analysis showed that the patterns of cell proliferation were similar to the patterns of WntA protein expression during different intestinal regeneration stages in this organism. Taken together, these results suggested that WntA might participate in intestinal regeneration and may be connected with cell proliferation, apoptosis in different intestinal layers. This research could establish a basis for further examination of WntA functions in A. japonicus and Wnt genes in other echinoderms.

PubMed ID: 28647408
Article link: Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol