STRIPAK Limits Stem Cell Differentiation of a WNT Signaling Center to Control Planarian Axis Scaling

Curr Biol. 2020 Jan 20;30(2):254-263.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.068. Epub 2020 Jan 9.


Regeneration involves regulating tissue proportionality across considerable size ranges through unknown mechanisms. In planarians, which scale reversibly over 40× through regeneration, we identify the Striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex as a potent negative regulator of axis length. Inhibition of two proteins in the STRIPAK complex, mob4 and striatin, dramatically increased posterior length, through expansion of a posterior wnt1+ signaling center within midline muscle cells. wnt1 was required for tail expansion after mob4 inhibition and dynamically reestablishes proportionality after amputation in normal animals, indicating STRIPAK represses Wnt signaling for scaling. Regulation of wnt1 expansion was stem cell dependent, demonstrating that control of signaling-center production through stem cell differentiation underlies proportional growth in adult regenerative tissue.

Keywords: STRIPAK; Wnt; axis; mob4; morphogen; planarians; proportional growth; regeneration; scaling; signaling center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics*
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism
  • Planarians / cytology
  • Planarians / genetics*
  • Planarians / growth & development
  • Planarians / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*


  • Helminth Proteins