Unique expression patterns of the retinoblastoma (Rb) gene in intact and lens regeneration-undergoing newt eyes

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Abstract

Based on the role of retinoblastoma (Rb) in lens development and in the cell cycle reentry of muscle cells during limb regeneration, we have analyzed expression or Rb patterns in intact and lens regeneration-undergoing newt eyes. We find that in intact newt eye Rb is expressed in the retina as a gradient with higher levels in the photoreceptor layer and virtually no expression in the ganglion layer. In addition, a second gradient was detected within the photoreceptor layer with expression diminishing at the dorsal and ventral regions. In the intact lens, Rb is expressed in the lens epithelium and in the differentiating lens fibers at the bow region. During lens regeneration, Rb is expressed very strongly in the differentiating lens fibers, but not in the lens epithelium. Using an antibody specific to the hyperphosphorylated form of Rb, we detected the inactive protein only in the pigment epithelial cells of the iris. These distinct patterns might be related to the regenerative potential of the lens in the newt. Anat Rec Part A 271A:185–188, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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