Editors' ChoiceDevelopment

Exploiting Your Niche

STKE  30 Jan 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 371, pp. tw40
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3712007tw40

In Drosophila, male germ line stem cells orient the mitotic spindle to generate a daughter stem cell and a cell destined for germ cell differentiation after asymmetric cell division. Using gene mutation and ultrastructural studies, Yamashita et al. (see also the Perspective by Spradling and Zheng) now identify the mechanism by which the oriented spindle is established. The mother and daughter centrosomes are differentially oriented, with the mother centrosome anchored close to the niche-stem cell junction by microtubules, whereas the daughter centrosome migrates to the other side of the cell. This differential centrosome identity and migration may provide a mechanism for asymmetric cell division in the generation of daughter cells with different developmental fates.

Y. M. Yamashita, A. P. Mahowald, J. R. Perlin, M. T. Fuller, Asymmetric inheritance of mother versus daughter centrosome in stem cell division. Science 315, 518-521 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

A. C. Spradling, Y. Zheng, The mother of all stem cells? Science 315, 469-470 (2007). [Summary] [Full Text]