Have a look to our new paper in Development !!!
Check out our lab latest paper “Planarian cell number depends on Blitzschnell, a novel gene family that balances cell proliferation and cell death” published in Development.
This is the work of Eudald and several current ad past students in the lab.
Congratulations to all of them!
In this work we report the identification of a novel gene family, blitzschnell (bls), which consists of de novo and taxonomically restricted genes that control cell proliferation:cell death ratio. Their silencing promotes faster regeneration and increases cell number during homeostasis. Importantly, this increase in cell number only leads to an increase in body size in a nutrient-rich environment; in starved planarians silencing results in a decrease in cell size and cell accumulation that ultimately produces overgrowths. bls expression is down-regulated after feeding and related with the Insulin/Akt/mTOR network activity, suggesting that the bls family evolved in planarians as an additional mechanism by which to restrict cell number in nutrient-fluctuating environments.