Requirement for Wnt and FGF signaling in Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration

Gufa Lin, Jonathan M.W. Slack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


We have investigated the requirement for the FGF and Wnt/beta-catenin pathways for Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration. Pathways were modified either by treatment with small molecules or by induction of transgene expression with heat shocks. Regeneration is inhibited by treatment with the FGF inhibitor SU5402, or by activation of a dominant negative FGF receptor, or by activation of expression of the Wnt inhibitor Dkk1. Agents promoting Wnt activity: the small molecule BIO, or a constitutively active form of beta-catenin, led to an increased growth rate. Combination of a Wnt activator with FGF inhibitor suppressed regeneration, while combination of a Wnt inhibitor with a FGF activator allowed regeneration. This suggests that the Wnt activity lies upstream of the FGF activity. Expression of both Wnt and FGF components was inhibited by activation of noggin, suggesting that BMP signalling lies upstream of both Wnt and FGF. The results show that the molecular mechanism of Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration is surprisingly similar to that of the Xenopus limb bud and the zebrafish caudal fin, despite the difference of anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Drs. E. Amaya, E. A. Jones and A. Lekven for sharing with us reagents used in this work. We thank Y. Chen for discussions of the work and critical reading of the manuscript. Funding for this work was provided by the Wellcome Trust.


  • Bone morphogenetic proteins
  • Fibroblast growth factors
  • Regeneration
  • Tail
  • Transgenesis
  • Wnt factors
  • Xenopus tadpole


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