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Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Ser. B, Physical and Biological Sciences


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The Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B was founded in 1912 as the Proceedings of the Imperial Academy by the then Imperial Academy of Japan (now the Japan Academy). The Journal was split to the Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series A and Series B in 1977. PJA Series B publishes reviews and original articles in broad fields of natural sciences, such as chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth sciences, biology, engineering, agricultural sciences and medical sciences. All manuscripts are evaluated at least by two reviewers. Ten issues are published per year. The entire content is now freely available online through J-STAGE.

Vol. 91 No. 3 (2015)

MAP kinase cascades regulating axon regeneration in C. elegans
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 91, 63-75 (2015) [Abstract and Full Text]
Intraovarian control of selective follicular growth and induction of oocyte maturation in mammals
Eimei SATO
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 91, 76-91 (2015) [Abstract and Full Text]
Original Articles
Whole-body counter surveys of Miharu-town school children for four consecutive years after the Fukushima NPP accident
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 91, 92-98 (2015) [Abstract and Full Text]
Ca2+ and cAMP regulations of microtubule sliding in hyperactivated motility of bull spermatozoa
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 91, 99-108 (2015) [Abstract and Full Text]
Cover Illustration
Axon regeneration in C. elegans

  Neurons in the mammalian peripheral nervous system, as well as neurons in invertebrates, are able to regenerate their axons after injury. In contrast, neurons in the mammalian central nervous system have limited regenerative capability. Although previous studies have revealed that intrinsic regeneration signals can influence the axon regeneration, the detailed processes that determine a neuron’s intrinsic regrowth capacity were poorly defined at the molecular level.
  Several molecular factors that affect axon regeneration in vertebrate models, such as mouse or rat, have been identified using biochemical approaches. The development of a complementary genetic approach should facilitate the identification of new molecular factors. The development of laser microsurgery techniques facilitated the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tractable model for studying regenerative responses in neurons.
  Using this system, Dr. Matsumoto and his colleagues found that the JNK MAP kinase cascade, consisting of MLK-1 MAPKKK, MEK-1 MAPKK and KGB-1 JNK, plays a positive role in axon regeneration in C. elegans as summarized in the review (pp. 63-75). They further employed a genetical approach to isolate genes involved in the JNK MAPK pathway, and identified several svh genes. The svh-1 and svh-2 genes encode a hepatocyte growth factor/plasminogen-like protein and a c-Met-like receptor tyrosine kinase, respectively, both of which act upstream of the JNK MAPK cascade. The svh-3 gene encodes a hydrolase targeting anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid synthesized in many invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Further studies revealed that anandamide suppresses axon regeneration by inhibiting the JNK pathway. Thus, the amenability of C. elegans to genetic manipulation makes it particularly useful for uncovering novel factors involved in the regulation of the axon regeneration response.

Eisuke Nishida
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University

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