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Stem cells, niches and cadherins: a view from Drosophila

AutorGonzález-Reyes, Acaimo
Palabras claveStem cells
DE cadherin
Fecha de publicación15-mar-2003
EditorCompany of Biologists
CitaciónJournal of Cell Science 116, 949-954 (2003)
ResumenStem cells are essential for the correct development and homeostasis of adult organisms, as well as having obvious potential therapeutic importance. Analysis of the biology of stem cells and their regulatory microenvironment in adult organs has, however, been hindered by the rarity of these cells in mature tissues and by the lack of positive markers for them. The ovary of the Drosophila melanogaster female is a stem cell niche in which such analyses can be performed. The stromal cells of the microenvironment act as a regulatory centre to control the proliferation and differentiation of the germline stem cells, using several signalling molecules, among them the protein DPP - a Drosophila homologue of the human bone morphogenetic proteins BMP2 and BMP4. Recent work shows that DE-cadherin-mediated adhesion is used for the initial recruitment and posterior anchoring of the germline-derived stem cells in their niche.
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