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Dev Cell. 2006 Apr;10(4):441-9. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Brat is a Miranda cargo protein that promotes neuronal differentiation and inhibits neuroblast self-renewal.

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  • 1Institutes of Neuroscience and Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon, Eugene, 97403, USA.

Abstract

An important question in stem cell biology is how a cell decides to self-renew or differentiate. Drosophila neuroblasts divide asymmetrically to self-renew and generate differentiating progeny called GMCs. Here, we report that the Brain tumor (Brat) translation repressor is partitioned into GMCs via direct interaction with the Miranda scaffolding protein. In brat mutants, another Miranda cargo protein (Prospero) is not partitioned into GMCs, GMCs fail to downregulate neuroblast gene expression, and there is a massive increase in neuroblast numbers. Single neuroblast clones lacking Prospero have a similar phenotype. We conclude that Brat suppresses neuroblast stem cell self-renewal and promotes neuronal differentiation.

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