1932

Abstract

The majority of animal phyla have species that can regenerate. Comparing regeneration across animals can reconstruct the molecular and cellular evolutionary history of this process. Recent studies have revealed some similarity in regeneration mechanisms, but rigorous comparative methods are needed to assess whether these resemblances are ancestral pathways (homology) or are the result of convergent evolution (homoplasy). This review aims to provide a framework for comparing regeneration across animals, focusing on gene regulatory networks (GRNs), which are substrates for assessing process homology. The homology of the wound-induced activation of Wnt signaling and of adult stem cells provides examples of ongoing studies of regeneration that enable comparisons in a GRN framework. Expanding the study of regeneration GRNs in currently studied species and broadening taxonomic sampling for these approaches will identify processes that are unifying principles of regeneration biology across animals. These insights are important both for evolutionary studies of regeneration and for human regenerative medicine.

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2021-10-06
2024-06-17
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