Graded expression of Emx-2 in the adult newt limb and its corresponding regeneration blastema

J Mol Biol. 1998 Jun 12;279(3):501-11. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1998.1782.


Amputation of a newt limb causes stump cells to organize the reformation of the missing structures. The phenomenon is remarkably precise in that the regeneration is perfect. During the first few days following amputation, the tissue proximal to the plane of amputation gives rise to the blastema, an area of growth composed of mesenchymal cells covered by a single epithelium. The blastema possesses a morphogenetic potential characteristic of the structures that have been amputated. Looking for control genes putatively involved in regeneration, we cloned the newt version of the mouse and human Emx-2. Its expression is restricted to the skin of the regeneration territories and is graded along the proximal-distal axis of both forelimb and hindlimb, with higher levels in distal regions. The regeneration blastema also show this proximal-distal graded level of expression with distal blastemas (mid-radius and ulna) showing higher levels of expression when compared to blastemas of more proximal origin (mid-humerus). Finally, retinoic acid proximalizes both the level of Emx-2 expression and the positional memory of the blastema suggesting Emx-2 may participate in pattern formation by specifying positional information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Extremities / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / chemistry*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Regeneration / genetics*
  • Salamandridae / physiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • empty spiracles homeobox proteins
  • Tretinoin