It’s all about the FGF protein
Due to what the worms can regrow the lost parts, embryologists at St. Petersburg State University have found out. Scientists have studied the features of tissue restoration in green nereis, which is characterized by the rapid restoration of lost organs – it takes about 4 hours for it.
As the “MK” was informed in the Russian Science Foundation, under the auspices of which the study was carried out, the specialists knew that the main factor of tissue growth in the worm is the FGF protein. The growth of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin), connective and nervous tissue depends on it. However, how the mechanism of restoration with the help of this protein is triggered in the genome was unknown to science. Embryologists found this out in experiments on worms, marking the regions of genes in which the regeneration reaction was triggered, that is, the FGF protein began to work.
When the time and place of gene activity were determined, the scientists performed a “reverse” experiment – they artificially blocked the FGF protein in damaged worms. It turned out that the suppression of its work influenced not only cell division at the site of damage, but in general on the process of restoring the lost part of the body. As for the control group of worms, in which the process of FGF protein action was not suppressed, they restored the lost limbs in 4 hours.
The studied mechanism, according to the researchers, will help to use it in the development of drugs for the rapid healing of human wounds.