The same family of transcription factors directs the epidermal wound repair in mice and flies, according to two research teams. Their findings might clarify the pathways that initiate outer barrier repair in a range of organisms.

William McGinnis' team at the University of California, San Diego, investigated the genes Ddc and pale, which encode DOPA decarboxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase, respectively, in fly embryos.1 The researchers found Ddc and pale transcripts in epidermal cells within 30 minutes of injury with a sterile needle, suggesting these genes are targets of a wound-induced signaling pathway. Upstream from Ddc and pale the group found consensus binding sites for the grainy head (Grh) transcription factor, suggesting Grh regulates both genes.

Stephen Jane at the Bone Marrow Donor Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues found that mice embryos with mutant Grhl3, a Grh-like transcription factor, displayed minimal healing after wounding, a phenotype...

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