Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2012 Nov 2;338(6107):679-82. doi: 10.1126/science.1226028.

Asymmetric division of Drosophila male germline stem cell shows asymmetric histone distribution.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Stem cells can self-renew and generate differentiating daughter cells. It is not known whether these cells maintain their epigenetic information during asymmetric division. Using a dual-color method to differentially label "old" versus "new" histones in Drosophila male germline stem cells (GSCs), we show that preexisting canonical H3, but not variant H3.3, histones are selectively segregated to the GSC, whereas newly synthesized histones incorporated during DNA replication are enriched in the differentiating daughter cell. The asymmetric histone distribution occurs in GSCs but not in symmetrically dividing progenitor cells. Furthermore, if GSCs are genetically manipulated to divide symmetrically, this asymmetric mode is lost. This work suggests that stem cells retain preexisting canonical histones during asymmetric cell divisions, probably as a mechanism to maintain their unique molecular properties.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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