Reactivation of larval keratin gene (krt62.L) in blastema epithelium during Xenopus froglet limb regeneration

Akira Satoh, Kazumasa Mitogawa, Nanami Saito, Miyuki Suzuki, Ken ichi T. Suzuki, Haruki Ochi, Aki Makanae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Limb regeneration is considered a form of limb redevelopment because of the molecular and morphological similarities. Forming a regeneration blastema is, in essence, creating a developing limb bud in an adult body. This reactivation of a developmental process in a mature body is worth studying. Xenopus laevis has a biphasic life cycle that involves distinct larval and adult stages. These distinct developmental stages are useful for investigating the reactivation of developmental processes in post-metamorphic frogs (froglets). In this study, we focused on the re-expression of a larval gene (krt62.L) during Xenopus froglet limb regeneration. Recently renamed krt62.L, this gene was known as the larval keratin (xlk) gene, which is specific to larval-tadpole stages. During limb regeneration in a froglet, krt62.L was re-expressed in a basal layer of blastema epithelium, where adult-specific keratin (Krt12.6.S) expression was also observable. Nerves produce important regulatory factors for amphibian limb regeneration, and also play a role in blastema formation and maintenance. The effect of nerve function on krt62.L expression could be seen in the maintenance of krt62.L expression, but not in its induction. When an epidermis-stripped limb bud was grafted in a froglet blastema, the grafted limb bud could reach the digit-forming stage. This suggests that krt62.L-positive froglet blastema epithelium is able to support the limb development process. These findings imply that the developmental process is locally reactivated in an postmetamorphic body during limb regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2017


  • Dedifferentiation
  • Krt12.6.S
  • Krt62.L
  • Larval keratin
  • Limb regeneration
  • Xenopus laevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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