Article

Drosophila stem cell niches: a decade of discovery suggests a unified view of stem cell regulation.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Laboratories, Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Developmental Cell (Impact Factor: 10.37). 07/2011; 21(1):159-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.06.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The past decade of research on Drosophila stem cells and niches has provided key insights. Fly stem cells do not occupy a special "state" based on novel "stem cell genes" but resemble transiently arrested tissue progenitors. Moreover, individual stem cells and downstream progenitors are highly dynamic and dispensable, not tissue bulwarks. Niches, rather than fixed cell lineages, ensure tissue health by holding stem cells and repressing cell differentiation inside, but not outside. We review the five best-understood adult Drosophila stem cells and argue that the fundamental biology of stem cells and niches is conserved between Drosophila and mice.

0 Followers
 · 
96 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ramathal et al. have employed an elegant xenotransplantation technique to study the fate of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from fertile males and from males carrying Y chromosome deletions of the azoospermia factor (AZF) region. When placed in a mouse testis niche, hiPSCs from fertile males differentiate into germ cell-like cells (GCLCs). Highlighting the crucial role of cell autonomous factors in male sterility, hiPSCs derived from azoospermic males prove to be less successful under similar circumstances. Their studies argue that the agametic "Sertoli cell only" phenotype of two of the AZF deletions likely arises from a defect in the maintenance of germline stem cells (GSCs) rather than from a defect in their specification. These observations underscore the importance of the dialogue between the somatic niche and its inhabitant stem cells, and open up interesting questions concerning the functioning of the somatic niche and how it communicates to the GSCs. © 2014 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
    BioEssays 03/2015; 37(3). DOI:10.1002/bies.201400134 · 4.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is known that signaling from the germline stem cell niche is required to maintain germline stem cell identity in Drosophila. However, it is not clear whether the germline stem-cell daughters differentiate by default (because they are physically distant from the niche) or whether additional signaling is necessary to initiate the differentiation program. Previously, we showed that ecdysteroid signaling cell non-autonomously regulates early germline differentiation via its soma-specific co-activator and co-repressor, Taiman and Abrupt. Now, we demonstrate that this regulation is modulated by the miRNA let-7, which acts in a positive feedback loop to confer ecdysone signaling robustness via targeting its repressor, the transcription factor Abrupt. This feedback loop adjusts ecdysteroid signaling in response to some stressful alterations in the external and internal conditions, which include temperature stress and aging, but not nutritional deprivation. Upon let-7 deficit, escort cells fail to properly differentiate: their shape, division, and cell adhesive characteristics are perturbed. These cells have confused cellular identity and form columnar-like rather than squamous epithelium and fail to send protrusions in between differentiating germline cysts, affecting soma-germline communication. Particularly, levels of the homophilic cell adhesion protein Cadherin, which recruits Wg signaling transducer β-catenin, are increased in mutant escort cells and, correspondingly, in the adjacent germline cells. Readjustment of heterotypic (soma-germline) cell adhesion modulates Wg signaling intensity in the germline, which in turn regulates histone modifications that promote expression of the genes necessary to trigger early germline differentiation. Thus, our data first show the intrinsic role for Wg signaling in the germline and support a model where the soma influences the tempo of germline differentiation in response to external conditions. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
    02/2015; 4(3). DOI:10.1242/bio.201410553
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the germarium of the Drosophila ovary, germline cysts are encapsulated one at a time by a follicular epithelium derived from two follicle stem cells (FSCs). Ovaries in flies mutant for the serine/threonine kinase Pak exhibit a novel phenotype, in which two side-by-side cysts are encapsulated at a time, generating paired egg chambers. This striking phenotype originates in the pupal ovary, where the developing germarium is shaped by the basal stalk, a stack of cells formed by cell intercalation. The process of basal stalk formation is not well understood, and we provide evidence that the cell intercalation is driven by actomyosin contractility of DE-Cadherin-adhered cells, leading to a column of disk-shaped cells exhibiting a novel radial cell polarity. Cell intercalation fails in Pak mutant ovaries, leading to abnormally wide basal stalks and consequently wide germaria with side-by-side cysts. We present evidence that Pak mutant germaria have extra FSCs, and we propose that contact of a germline cyst with the basal stalk in the pupal ovary contributes to FSC niche formation. The wide basal stalk in Pak mutants enables the formation of extra FSC niches which are mispositioned and yet functional, indicating that the FSC niche can be established in diverse locations. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
    Development 01/2015; 142(1):82-91. DOI:10.1242/dev.111039 · 6.27 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
4 Downloads
Available from