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Subcell Biochem January 1, 2020; 95 87-117.

RA Signaling in Limb Development and Regeneration in Different Species.

Maden M .

This chapter brings together data on the role of retinoic acid (RA) in the embryonic development of fins in zebrafish , limbs in amphibians , chicks , and mice, and regeneration of the amphibian limb . The intention is to determine whether there is a common set of principles by which we can understand the mode of action of RA in both embryos and adults. What emerges from this synthesis is that there are indeed commonalities in the involvement of RA in processes that ventralize, posteriorize, and proximalize the developing and regenerating limb . Different axes of the limb have historically been studied independently; as for example, the embryonic development of the anteroposterior (AP) axis of the chick limb bud versus the regeneration of the limb bud proximodistal (PD) axis . But when we take a broader view, a unifying principle emerges that explains why RA administration to embryos and regenerating limbs results in the development of multiple limbs in both cases. As might be expected, different molecular pathways govern the development of different systems and model organisms, but despite these differences, the pathways involve similar RA signaling genes, such as tbx5, meis, shh, fgfs and hox genes. Studies of developing and regenerating systems have highlighted that RA acts by being synthesized in one embryonic location while acting in another one, exactly as embryonic morphogens do, although there is no evidence for the presence of an RA gradient within the limb . What also emerges is that there is a paucity of information on the involvement of RA in development of the dorsoventral (DV) axis . A molecular explanation as to how RA establishes and alters positional information in all three axes is the most important area of study for the future.

PubMed ID: 32297297
Article link: Subcell Biochem

Genes referenced: shh tbx5

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