By Srachi, via Colossal.
(Click on the paper image to download full text pdf of the research paper).
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Wolverine, a mutant from the X-men team, possesses super healing abilities. Wolverine’s healing abilities have striking similarities to that seen in axolotl, an amphibian with the capacity to regenerate amputated limbs. In this study we sought to determine the mechanisms by which Wolverine regenerates. We identified a novel protein, dubbed Howlett, that is nearly identical to the Amblox protein in axolotl which is known to be responsible for the amphibian’s limb regeneration. siRNA knockdown of the howlett and amblox genes demonstrated decreased replication in Wolverine and axolotl, respectively, and Howlett was found in all Wolverine tissues. Using mass spectrometry and x-ray crystallography, we identified an S2 pocket in the Howlett protein that we postulate contributes to the 5.66-fold increased specific activity observed over Amblox in cleaving a large substrate analogue. Our findings show that Howlett is a major contributor to Wolverine’s incredible regeneration capacity, and further investigation of the signaling and regulatory mechanisms associated with this novel protein could provide outstanding advances in the field of regenerative medicine.
Sigrid Alvarez, Emma Conway et al. (2013) “Howlett: Novel Wolverine Protein Contributes to Rapid Regeneration and Heightened Cellular Replication.” JOURNAL OF SUPERHERO MUTATIONAL SCIENCE. Vol 13 Issue 2. pp297-302
Full text via the Science Creative Quarterly