Elly Tanaka (IMP and VBC) 2: Signaling Molecules in Limb Regeneration

Elly Tanaka (IMP and VBC) 2: Signaling Molecules in Limb Regeneration

Recording date: 13/06/2018
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Why can a salamander regenerate a limb after amputation while humans can't? Elly Tanaka is studying axolotl limb regeneration to understand the molecular basis for this amazing process. https://www.ibiology.org/cell-biology/axolotl-limb-regeneration Talk Overview: Among four limbed animals, salamanders are the champions of regeneration. They can regenerate an amputated leg or tail, as well as various internal organs. In her first talk, Elly Tanaka explains that axolotl limb regeneration is an excellent system to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of limb regeneration in vertebrates. Tanaka and her colleagues have shown that the regenerating limb has positional memory. For example, an amputated hind limb with regenerate a hind limb and not a forearm. They also have identified the key signaling molecules involved in determining positional identity. In her second talk, Tanaka expands on her work on signaling in axolotl limb regeneration. She explains how her lab used the technique of expression cloning to identify several factors required to trigger the cell migration and proliferation required for regeneration. Tanaka was also curious about what signals differentiate a wound from an amputation. It was known that regeneration required the presence of nerves as well as the interaction of anterior and posterior limb tissue. Tanaka's lab was able to show that the expression of the signaling molecules SHH, on the posterior side, and FGF8, on the anterior side, of an amputated limb were enough to sustain regeneration. Identification of these signaling molecules has advanced our understanding of limb regeneration in vertebrates. Speaker Biography: Dr. Elly Tanaka studied biochemistry as an undergraduate student at Harvard University and received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. Tanaka developed her interest in limb regeneration as a postdoctoral fellow with Jeremy Brockes at University College London. She went on to become a group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden in 1999. In 2008, she became a professor at the Center for Regenerative Therapies at the Technische Universität Dresden and from 2014-2016 she was Director. Tanaka moved to the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and the Vienna BioCenter (VBC) in Vienna, Austria in 2016. Tanaka's lab strives to understand the molecular pathways that regulate limb and spinal cord regeneration. They are pursuing these studies in salamanders, in particular in the axolotl. Tanaka's lab is also working to translate their findings in salamanders to mouse and human tissues. In 2017, Tanaka was awarded the Ernst Schering prize “for her outstanding research in the field of regeneration biology”. Tanaka is also an elected member of the Academia Europaea and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Learn more about Tanaka's research here: https://www.imp.ac.at/groups/elly-tanaka

Elly Tanaka (Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and Vienna BioCenter)


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