Translational profiling of retinal ganglion cell optic nerve regeneration in Xenopus laevis.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Watson FL
Author List: 
Whitworth GB
Misaghi BC
Rosenthal DM
Mills EA
Heinen DJ
Watson AH
Ives CW
Ali SH
Bezold K
Marsh-Armstrong N
Watson FL
Dev Biol
PubMed ID: 
Unlike adult mammals, adult frogs regrow their optic nerve following a crush injury, making Xenopus laevis a compelling model for studying the molecular mechanisms that underlie neuronal regeneration. Using Translational Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP), a method to isolate ribosome-associated mRNAs from a target cell population, we have generated a transcriptional profile by RNA-Seq for retinal ganglion cells (RGC) during the period of recovery following an optic nerve injury. Based on bioinformatic analysis using the Xenopus laevis 9.1 genome assembly, our results reveal a profound shift in the composition of ribosome-associated mRNAs during the early stages of RGC regeneration. As factors involved in cell signaling are rapidly down-regulated, those involved in protein biosynthesis are up-regulated alongside key initiators of axon development. Using the new genome assembly, we were also able to analyze gene expression profiles of homeologous gene pairs arising from a whole-genome duplication in the Xenopus lineage. Here we see evidence of divergence in regulatory control among a significant proportion of pairs. Our data should provide a valuable resource for identifying genes involved in the regeneration process to target for future functional studies, in both naturally regenerative and non-regenerative vertebrates.
Published Date: 
July, 2016

Kennedy Krieger Institute Announces Retirement of President and CEO

Dr. Gary W. GoldsteinThe Institute’s board of directors is conducting a national search and is expected to name a new CEO in the coming months.
Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.