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Urodele amphibians such as the red spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, and axolotl are commonly used to study organ regeneration due to their remarkable ability to regenerate organs such as limb, tail, spinal cord and lens. The newt is able to regenerate the lens solely from dorsal iris pigmented epithelial cells in 30 days following removal. Axolotls, neonate salamanders, invoke curiosity because they can only regenerate their lens two weeks post hatching although they have the same regeneration potential as newts for limb, tail, and spinal cord. Using these animal models the role of the p53 protein, a tumor suppressor protein, in regeneration and cell cycle regulation can be further examined. Previous studies showed that when p53 is disrupted using pharmacological reagents limb regeneration is impaired. In this study, p53 protein expression was inhibited and activated and histology was performed to determine the effect on lens regeneration. The outcome of this study will help in the understanding a potential new role of p53 and its signaling partners during lens regeneration.

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Panagiotis A Tsonis

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