Bigh3 Is Upregulated in Regenerating Zebrafish Fin
Zebrafish is a good model for studying regeneration because of the rapidity with which it occurs. Better understanding of this process may lead in the future to improvement of the regenerating capacity of humans. Signaling factors are the second largest category of genes, regulated during regeneration after the regulators of wound healing. Major developmental signaling pathways play a role in this multistep process, such as Bmp, Fgf, Notch, retinoic acid, Shh, and Wnt. In the present study, we focus on TGF-beta-induced genes, bigh3 and bambia. Bigh3 encodes keratoepithelin, a protein first identified as an extracellular matrix protein reported to play a role in cell adhesion, as well as in cornea formation and osteogenesis. The expression of bigh3 in zebrafish fins has previously been reported. Here we demonstrate that tgf-b1 and tgf-b3 mRNA reacted with delay, first showing no regulation at 3 dpa, followed by upregulation at 4 and 5 dpa. Tgf-b1, tgf-2, and tgf-brII mRNA were back to normal levels at 10 dpa. Only tgf-b3 mRNA was still upregulated at that time. Bigh3 mRNA followed the upregulation of tgf-b1, while bambia mRNA behaved similarly to tgf-b2 mRNA. We show that upregulation of bigh3 and bambia mRNA correlated with the process of fin regeneration and regulation of TGF-b signaling, suggesting a new role for these proteins.