PerspectiveDevelopmental Biology

Notch activity in neural progenitors coordinates cytokinesis and asymmetric differentiation

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Sci. Signal.  21 Oct 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 348, pp. pe26
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005980

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Abstract

Asymmetric division of neural progenitor cells is a crucial event in the generation of neuronal diversity and involves the segregation of distinct proteins into daughter cells, thereby promoting unique differentiation programs. Although it was known that Notch signaling acts postmitotically to orchestrate differentiation of daughter cells from asymmetrically dividing precursor cells, Bhat reported a previously uncharacterized role for Notch that occurs before cell division to promote the asymmetric localization of the protein Numb and the positioning of the cleavage furrow. Numb is an inhibitor of Notch activity; thus, this mechanism forms a regulatory feedback loop to control asymmetric cytokinesis and differentiation.

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