Richardson, R., Hammerschmidt, M. (2016) The role of Rho kinase (Rock) in re-epithelialization of adult zebrafish skin wounds. Small GTPases. 9(3):230-236.
Complete re-epithelialization of full-thickness skin wounds in adult mammals takes days to complete and relies on numerous signaling cues and multiple overlapping cellular processes that take place both within the epidermis itself and in other participating tissues. We have previously shown that re-epithelialization of full-thickness skin wounds of adult zebrafish, however, is extremely rapid and largely independent of the other processes of wound healing allowing for the dissection of specific processes that occur in, or have a direct effect on, re-epithelializing keratinocytes. Recently, we have shown that, in addition to lamellipodial crawling at the leading edge, re-epithelialization of zebrafish partial- and full-thickness wounds requires long-range epithelial rearrangements including radial intercalations, flattening and directed elongation and that each of these processes involves Rho kinase (Rock) signaling. Our studies demonstrate how these coordinated signaling events allow for the rapid collective cell migration observed in adult zebrafish wound healing. Here we discuss the particular contribution of Rock to each of these processes.