Prx-1 expression in xenopus laevis scarless skin-wound healing and its resemblance to epimorphic regeneration

Hitoshi Yokoyama, Tamae Maruoka, Akio Aruga, Takanori Amano, Shiro Ohgo, Toshihiko Shiroishi, Koji Tamura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite a strong clinical need for inducing scarless wound healing, the molecular factors required to accomplish it are unknown. Although skin-wound healing in adult mammals often results in scarring, some amphibians can regenerate injured body parts, even an amputated limb, without it. To understand the mechanisms of perfect skin-wound healing in regenerative tetrapods, we studied the healing process in young adult Xenopus froglets after experimental skin excision. We found that the excision wound healed completely in Xenopus froglets, without scarring. Mononuclear cells expressing a homeobox gene, prx1, accumulated under the new epidermis of skin wounds on the limb and trunk and at the regenerating limb. In transgenic Xenopus froglets expressing a reporter for the mouse prx1 limb-specific enhancer, activity was seen in the healing skin and in the regenerating limb. Comparable activity did not accompany skin-wound healing in adult mice. Our results suggest that scarless skin-wound healing may require activation of the prx1 limb enhancer, and competence to activate the enhancer is probably a prerequisite for epimorphic regeneration, such as limb regeneration. Finally, the induction of this prx1 enhancer activity may be useful as a reliable marker for therapeutically induced scarless wound healing in mammals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2477-2485
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Dermatology
    • Cell Biology


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