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Science 301 (5639): 1547-1550

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Orientation of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division by the APC Tumor Suppressor and Centrosome

Yukiko M. Yamashita,1 D. Leanne Jones,1 Margaret T. Fuller1,2*

Abstract: Stem cell self-renewal can be specified by local signals from the surrounding microenvironment, or niche. However, the relation between the niche and the mechanisms that ensure the correct balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is poorly understood. Here, we show that dividing Drosophila male germline stem cells use intracellular mechanisms involving centrosome function and cortically localized Adenomatous Polyposis Coli tumor suppressor protein to orient mitotic spindles perpendicular to the niche, ensuring a reliably asymmetric outcome in which one daughter cell remains in the niche and self-renews stem cell identity, whereas the other, displaced away, initiates differentiation.

1 Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305–5329, USA.
2 Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305–5329, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: fuller{at}

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