The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi deploys a rapid injury response dating back to the last common animal ancestor

Commun Biol. 2024 Feb 19;7(1):203. doi: 10.1038/s42003-024-05901-7.


Regenerative potential is widespread but unevenly distributed across animals. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying regenerative processes is limited to a handful of model organisms, restricting robust comparative analyses. Here, we conduct a time course of RNA-seq during whole body regeneration in Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora) to uncover gene expression changes that correspond with key events during the regenerative timeline of this species. We identified several genes highly enriched in this dataset beginning as early as 10 minutes after surgical bisection including transcription factors in the early timepoints, peptidases in the middle timepoints, and cytoskeletal genes in the later timepoints. We validated the expression of early response transcription factors by whole mount in situ hybridization, showing that these genes exhibited high expression in tissues surrounding the wound site. These genes exhibit a pattern of transient upregulation as seen in a variety of other organisms, suggesting that they may be initiators of an ancient gene regulatory network linking wound healing to the initiation of a regenerative response.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ctenophora* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wound Healing


  • Transcription Factors