Editors' ChoiceDevelopment

And Then There Were Three

Science's STKE  20 Feb 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 374, pp. tw61
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3742007tw61

During development, stem cells usually generate one daughter cell that differentiates and another stem cell. Ohlstein and Spradling now describe a type of stem cell in the Drosophila intestine that produces three offspring fates--a stem cell, an enterocyte, and an enteroendocrine cell. The choice in fate seems to depend on the amount of the protein Delta (which can activate the signaling receptor Notch) that is expressed in the stem cell at cell division. Daughter cells with high amounts of Delta-Notch signaling become enterocytes, those with lower amounts become enteroendocrine cells, and those with the least amount retain the stem cell fate.

B. Ohlstein, A. Spradling, Multipotent Drosophila intestinal stem cells specify daughter cell fates by differential Notch signaling. Science 315, 988-992 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]