Identification of an integrated stress and growth response signaling switch that directs vertebrate intestinal regeneration

BMC Genomics. 2022 Jan 4;23(1):6. doi: 10.1186/s12864-021-08226-5.


Background: Snakes exhibit extreme intestinal regeneration following months-long fasts that involves unparalleled increases in metabolism, function, and tissue growth, but the specific molecular control of this process is unknown. Understanding the mechanisms that coordinate these regenerative phenotypes provides valuable opportunities to understand critical pathways that may control vertebrate regeneration and novel perspectives on vertebrate regenerative capacities.

Results: Here, we integrate a comprehensive set of phenotypic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and phosphoproteomic data from boa constrictors to identify the mechanisms that orchestrate shifts in metabolism, nutrient uptake, and cellular stress to direct phases of the regenerative response. We identify specific temporal patterns of metabolic, stress response, and growth pathway activation that direct regeneration and provide evidence for multiple key central regulatory molecules kinases that integrate these signals, including major conserved pathways like mTOR signaling and the unfolded protein response.

Conclusion: Collectively, our results identify a novel switch-like role of stress responses in intestinal regeneration that forms a primary regulatory hub facilitating organ regeneration and could point to potential pathways to understand regenerative capacity in vertebrates.

Keywords: NRF2; Phosphoproteomics; RNAseq; Unfolded protein response; mTOR.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Boidae*
  • Proteomics*
  • Regeneration
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptome