Elly M. Tanaka

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During limb regeneration adult tissue is converted into a zone of undifferentiated progenitors called the blastema that reforms the diverse tissues of the limb. Previous experiments have led to wide acceptance that limb tissues dedifferentiate to form pluripotent cells. Here we have reexamined this question using an integrated GFP transgene to track the(More)
The mechanisms by which cells obtain instructions to precisely re-create the missing parts of an organ remain an unresolved question in regenerative biology. Urodele limb regeneration is a powerful model in which to study these mechanisms. Following limb amputation, blastema cells interpret the proximal-most positional identity in the stump to reproduce(More)
One of the fundamental questions of neurobiology is how neurons acquire the intricate yet stereotyped pattern of connections characteristic of the adult nervous system. A century ago, Ramon y Cajal hypothesized that neurons grow by extending axons and dendrites through embryonic tissues guided by the expanded terminal structure that he named the growth(More)
Withdrawal from the cell cycle is an essential aspect of vertebrate muscle differentiation and requires the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein that inhibits expression of genes needed for cell cycle entry. It was shown recently that cultured myotubes derived from the Rb-/- mouse reenter the cell cycle after serum stimulation (Schneider, J.W., W. Gu, L. Zhu, V.(More)
Tail regeneration in urodeles requires the coordinated growth and patterning of the regenerating tissues types, including the spinal cord, cartilage and muscle. The dorsoventral (DV) orientation of the spinal cord at the amputation plane determines the DV patterning of the regenerating spinal cord as well as the patterning of surrounding tissues such as(More)
The simultaneous overexpression of several transcription factors has emerged as a successful strategy to convert fibroblasts into other cell types including pluripotent cells, neurons, and cardiomyocytes. The selection and screening of factors are critical, and have often involved testing a large pool of transcription factors, followed by successive removal(More)
During tail regeneration in urodele amphibians such as axolotls, all of the tissue types, including muscle, dermis, spinal cord, and cartilage, are regenerated. It is not known how this diversity of cell types is reformed with such precision. In particular, the number and variety of mature cell types in the remaining stump that contribute to the blastema is(More)
The development of transgenesis in axolotls is crucial for studying development and regeneration as it would allow for long-term cell fate tracing as well as gene expression analysis. We demonstrate here that plasmid injection into the one-cell stage axolotl embryo generates mosaic transgenic animals that display germline transmission of the transgene. The(More)
The evolutionary origins of the gene network underlying cellular pluripotency, a central theme in developmental biology, have yet to be elucidated. In mammals, Oct4 is a factor crucial in the reprogramming of differentiated cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. The Oct4 and Pou2 genes evolved from a POU class V gene ancestor, but it is unknown whether(More)
For many years the mammalian CNS has been seen as an organ that is unable to regenerate. However, it was also long known that lower vertebrate species are capable of impressive regeneration of CNS structures. How did this situation arise through evolution? Increasing cellular and molecular understanding of regeneration in different animal species coupled(More)