Axolotl genome key to organ regeneration in humans

Axolotl genome key to organ regeneration in humans?

Some animals have astonishing regenerative abilities. Scientists have been trying to discover their secret for many years. This knowledge could be of great importance in clinical practice. A big step in this direction has been made by researchers at the University of Kentucky, who have managed to put all the pieces of this puzzle together.

Researchers have been puzzled for years about how theob someore animals can regenerate parts of their bodies. This curiosity leads to a simple question: Does man mowould be able to do the same? Can similar processes also be triggered in humans? If scientists had managed to learn the mechanisms thatore give these animals their amazing abilities, it could change the face of medicine.

Mexican ambystoma (Ambystoma mexicanum) is one such speciesow. Its regenerative abilities can surprise anyone. This amphibian occurs naturally only in one of the lakes near Mexico City. Because of its abilities, it is a valuable laboratory animal, but it is also bred by aquaristsow around the world.

– The axolotl has long been a valued model for studying organ regenerationow. It is difficult to find a body part thatorej is unable to regenerate. It can regenerate limbs, tail, spinal cord, eyes and even half of the mozgu – said Randal Voss of the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center.

Although humans share many of the same genesow with the axolotl, this freshwater salamander’s genome is about ten times larger than ours, posing enormous difficulties for genetic analysis. It also has many repetitive sequences, making research even more difficult. The axolotl genome was sequenced for the first time last year, but for scientistsow from the University of Kentucky was just the beginning of the research.

The initial sequencing did not reveal how the roThe different parts of the genome matched each other. Particularolne stretches of DNA have been learned, but the manner ofob their interaction with their neighbors has remained a mystery. Supportohe Voss collaborator Dr. Jeramiah Smithz acknowledged that these efforts have provided a lot of valuable data on the axolotl genome, but dopoki the genome will not be assembled in the correct wayob, scientists will not be able to conduct large-scale analyses of the structure and function of the genome, which is the key to understanding the mechanism of theow whoore give the axolotl their super powers.

The massive undertaking of mapping the human genome has provided scientists with the tools to recreate data from the genomicoin other organismsow. However, the extraordinary computational burden posed by organisms with larger genomes made such efforts largely impossible.

But Smith and Voss cleverly adopted the classical genetic approach and were able to successfully place an animal’s genome in the right order. This is the first time this has been done with a genome of this size. The findings were published in the journal „Genome Research”.

– Until a few years ago, no one thought it was possible to assemble such a large genome. – said Smith. – We have shown that this is possible using a cost-effective and accessible method, ktora opens up the possibility for routine sequencing of other animals with large genomes – added.

As dowod concept, Voss and Smith used the collected data to quickly identify a gene thatory causes a heart defect in an animal, thus providing a new model for studying a similar defect in humans. – Biomedical research is increasingly becoming a genetics-based endeavor, Voss said. – To understand human disease, you need to see the genetic possibilities in other organismsow, such as the axolotl’s – noted.

– Now that we have access to genome information, we can really begin to probe the functions of the geneow and figure out how toob they are able to regenerate body parts. I hope that one day we will be able to translate this information into a therapy available to humans, with potential applications for spinal cord injury or stroke mozgu – explained Voss.

The wild Mexican ambystom is a critically endangered species. However, these animals are raised in laboratories around the world. As Voss said, there are nearly 1,000 adult axolotls in the UK, and the ancestraloThe d of the lab population there goes back to 1800.