Cytoplasmic poly (A)-binding protein critically regulates epidermal maintenance and turnover in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

Development. 2017 Sep 1;144(17):3066-3079. doi: 10.1242/dev.152942. Epub 2017 Aug 14.


Identifying key cellular events that facilitate stem cell function and tissue organization is crucial for understanding the process of regeneration. Planarians are powerful model system to study regeneration and stem cell (neoblast) function. Here, using planaria, we show that the initial events of regeneration, such as epithelialization and epidermal organization are critically regulated by a novel cytoplasmic poly A-binding protein, SMED-PABPC2. Knockdown of smed-pabpc2 leads to defects in epidermal lineage specification, disorganization of epidermis and ECM, and deregulated wound healing, resulting in the selective failure of neoblast proliferation near the wound region. Polysome profiling suggests that epidermal lineage transcripts, including zfp-1, are translationally regulated by SMED-PABPC2. Together, our results uncover a novel role for SMED-PABPC2 in the maintenance of epidermal and ECM integrity, critical for wound healing and subsequent processes for regeneration.

Keywords: Epidermis; Neoblast; Planaria; Poly (A)-binding proteins; Regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Homeostasis
  • Models, Biological
  • Planarians / genetics
  • Planarians / metabolism*
  • Poly(A)-Binding Protein I / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Regeneration
  • Wound Healing


  • Poly(A)-Binding Protein I
  • RNA, Messenger