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Science 326 (5949): 153-156

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

JAK-STAT Signal Inhibition Regulates Competition in the Drosophila Testis Stem Cell Niche

Melanie Issigonis, Natalia Tulina,* Margaret de Cuevas, Crista Brawley,{dagger} Laurel Sandler, Erika Matunis{ddagger}

Abstract: Adult stem cells often reside in local microenvironments, or niches. Although niches can contain multiple types of stem cells, the coordinate regulation of stem cell behavior is poorly understood. In the Drosophila testis, Janus kinase–signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling is directly required for maintenance of the resident germline and somatic stem cells. We found that the JAK-STAT signaling target and inhibitor Suppressor of cytokine signaling 36E (SOCS36E) is required for germline stem cell maintenance. SOCS36E suppresses JAK-STAT signaling specifically in the somatic stem cells, preventing them from displacing neighboring germline stem cells in a manner that depends on the adhesion protein integrin. Thus, in niches housing multiple stem cell types, negative feedback loops can modulate signaling, preventing one stem cell population from outcompeting the other.

Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

* Present address: Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 232 Stemmler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

{dagger} Present address: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, 929 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: matunis{at}

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