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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(6):1105-18. Epub 2007 Jan 20.

Transdetermination: Drosophila imaginal disc cells exhibit stem cell-like potency.

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  • 1University of Washington, Department of Biology, 24 Kincaid Hall, Box 351800, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. kmcclure@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Drosophila imaginal discs, the primordia of the adult fly appendages, are an excellent system for studying developmental plasticity. Cells in the imaginal discs are determined for their disc-specific fate (wingness, legness) during embryogenesis. Disc cells maintain their determination during larval development, a time of extensive growth and proliferation. Only when prompted to regenerate do disc cells exhibit lability in their determined identity. Regeneration in the disc is mediated by a localized region of cell division, known as the regeneration blastema. Most regenerating disc cells strictly adhere to their disc-specific identity; some cells however, switch fate in a phenomenon known as transdetermination. Similar regeneration and transdetermination events can be induced in situ by misexpression of the signaling molecule wingless. Recent studies indicate that the plasticity of disc cells during regeneration is associated with high morphogen activity and the reorganization of chromatin structure. Here we provide both a historical perspective of imaginal disc transdetermination, as well as discuss recent findings on how imaginal disc cells acquire developmental plasticity and multipotency. We also highlight how an understanding of imaginal disc transdetermination can enhance an understanding of developmental potency exhibited by stem cells.

PMID:
17317270
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2000801
Free PMC Article
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