Checkpoints of Melanocyte Stem Cell Development

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Science's STKE  23 Aug 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 298, pp. pe42
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2982005pe42

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The bulge region of the adult hair follicle contains the niches for both epithelial and melanocyte stem cells. Recent evidence suggests that the development of melanocyte stem cells is controlled by a complex network of transcription factors, including Pax3, Sox10, and Mitf, and of regulatory extracellular cues such as Wnt. However, additional players are likely to be involved. It will be intriguing to identify these signals and to elucidate whether and how neighboring epithelial stem cells influence the balance between melanocyte stem cell maintenance and differentiation.

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