Translational profiling of retinal ganglion cell optic nerve regeneration in Xenopus laevis

G. B. Whitworth, B. C. Misaghi, D. M. Rosenthal, E. A. Mills, D. J. Heinen, A. H. Watson, C. W. Ives, S. H. Ali, K. Bezold, N. Marsh-Armstrong, F. L. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Unlike adult mammals, adult frogs regrow their optic nerve following a crush injury, making Xenopus laevis a compelling model for studying the molecular mechanisms that underlie neuronal regeneration. Using Translational Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP), a method to isolate ribosome-associated mRNAs from a target cell population, we have generated a transcriptional profile by RNA-Seq for retinal ganglion cells (RGC) during the period of recovery following an optic nerve injury. Based on bioinformatic analysis using the Xenopus laevis 9.1 genome assembly, our results reveal a profound shift in the composition of ribosome-associated mRNAs during the early stages of RGC regeneration. As factors involved in cell signaling are rapidly down-regulated, those involved in protein biosynthesis are up-regulated alongside key initiators of axon development. Using the new genome assembly, we were also able to analyze gene expression profiles of homeologous gene pairs arising from a whole-genome duplication in the Xenopus lineage. Here we see evidence of divergence in regulatory control among a significant proportion of pairs. Our data should provide a valuable resource for identifying genes involved in the regeneration process to target for future functional studies, in both naturally regenerative and non-regenerative vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-373
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017


  • Expression profile
  • Optic nerve crush injury
  • TRAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Translational profiling of retinal ganglion cell optic nerve regeneration in Xenopus laevis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this