Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 2000 Feb;127(3):503-14.

piwi encodes a nucleoplasmic factor whose activity modulates the number and division rate of germline stem cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


piwi represents the first class of genes known to be required for stem cell self-renewal in diverse organisms. In the Drosophila ovary, piwi is required in somatic signaling cells to maintain germline stem cells. Here we show that piwi encodes a novel nucleoplasmic protein present in both somatic and germline cells, with the highly conserved C-terminal region essential for its function. Removing PIWI protein from single germline stem cells significantly decreases the rate of their division. This suggests that PIWI has a second role as a cell-autonomous promoter of germline stem cell division. Consistent with its dual function, over-expression of piwi in somatic cells causes an increase both in the number of germline stem cells and the rate of their division. Thus, PIWI is a key regulator of stem cell division - its somatic expression modulates the number of germline stem cells and the rate of their division, while its germline expression also contributes to promoting stem cell division in a cell-autonomous manner.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources


Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk