How do cells know whether to self-renew or to differentiate?

06 June 2016

During Drosophila development, progenitor cells arrest in G2 phase for precise periods of time before undergoing cell divisions accompanied by terminal differentiation to create a sensory organ. Dr Joseph Ayeni along with Department of Biological Sciences scientists Shelagh Campbell and Martin Srayko (and their collaborators at the University of Paris, UPMC) used live imaging and transgenic reporters to study how regulation of cell division timing affects cell fate. They discovered that regulation of mitotic kinase activity not only limits entry into mitosis but also profoundly affects progenitor cell self-renewal potential, an unanticipated property with exciting implications for stem cell biology. These new insights into the cell biology of Drosophila development demonstrate how model organism research advances our understanding of fundamental genetic mechanisms that underlie animal development.

View the full article here: Development (2016) 143, 1160-1169 doi:10.1242/dev.134270