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Science. 2002 Jun 7;296(5574):1855-7.

Germline stem cells anchored by adherens junctions in the Drosophila ovary niches.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.


How stem cells are recruited to and maintained in their niches is crucial to understanding their regulation and use in regenerative medicine. Here, we demonstrate that DE-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion is required for anchoring germline stem cells (GSCs) in their niches in the Drosophila ovary. Two major components of this adhesion process, DE-cadherin and Armadillo/beta-catenin, accumulate at high levels in the junctions between GSCs and cap cells, one of the niche components. Removal of these proteins from GSCs results in stem cell loss. Furthermore, DE-cadherin is required for recruiting GSCs to their niche. Our study demonstrates that anchorage of GSCs in their niche by DE-cadherin-mediated adhesion is important for stem cell maintenance and function.

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