JNK signalling is necessary for a Wnt- and stem cell-dependent regeneration programme.
Tejada-Romero B., Carter J-M., Mihaylova Y., Neumann B., Aboobaker AA.
Regeneration involves the integration of new and old tissues in the context of an adult life history. It is clear that the core conserved signalling pathways that orchestrate development also play central roles in regeneration, and further study of conserved signalling pathways is required. Here we have studied the role of the conserved JNK signalling cascade during planarian regeneration. Abrogation of JNK signalling by RNAi or pharmacological inhibition blocks posterior regeneration and animals fail to express posterior markers. While the early injury-induced expression of polarity markers is unaffected, the later stem cell-dependent phase of posterior Wnt expression is not established. This defect can be rescued by overactivation of the Hh or Wnt signalling pathway to promote posterior Wnt activity. Together, our data suggest that JNK signalling is required to establish stem cell-dependent Wnt expression after posterior injury. Given that Jun is known to be required in vertebrates for the expression of Wnt and Wnt target genes, we propose that this interaction may be conserved and is an instructive part of planarian posterior regeneration.