Editors' ChoiceStem Cells

Notch role in multipotency or cell fate

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Sci. Signal.  24 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 404, pp. ec353
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad9094

Multipotent Drosophila intestinal stem cells (ISCs) generate either nutrient-absorbing enterocytes (ECs) or secretory enteroendocrine cells (EECs). Guo and Ohlstein investigated the role of Notch signaling in this process. They tracked ISC asymmetric divisions and found that EEC daughter cells, which have a low amount of Notch, signal back to the ISC in order to keep it multipotent. However, during EC production, ISCs activate strong Notch signaling in daughters. Thus, Notch signaling functions in two directions to achieve stem cell multipotency.

Z. Guo, B. Ohlstein, Bidirectional Notch signaling regulates Drosophila intestinal stem cell multipotency. Science 350, aab0988 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]