During a study, scientists at the University of Utah and the Forsyth Institute at Harvard found that the flatworm contains a gene highly similar to the human gene PTEN, which is often found to be mutated in cancer cases.
The study has been published in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms (DMM).The article is: Planarian PTEN homologs regulate stem cells and regeneration through TOR signaling, Néstor J. Oviedo, Bret J. Pearson, Michael Levin and Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Dis. Model. Mech. 2008(Sep 18), doi:10.1242/dmm.000117
The last sentence of the Abstract:
Altogether, our data reveal roles for PTEN in the regulation of planarian stem cells that are strikingly conserved to mammalian models. In addition, our results implicate this protein in the control of stem cell maintenance during the regeneration of complex structures in planarians.For information about this new journal, see: Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), NewJour, August 7, 2008. Excerpt:
To ensure the wide dissemination of all authors' work during the launch year, DMM has made a commitment to provide immediate, unrestricted online access to all articles from Volume 1 on the journal website.