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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Dec;20(6):699-706. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Proliferative control in Drosophila stem cells.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Basic Sciences, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The relationship between cell growth (cell mass increase over time) and cell division is poorly understood in animal stem cells. Recent studies in several Drosophila stem cell types have provided the tools to interrogate this relationship. In several cases (brat, mei-P26, pros, bam, lethal giant larvae, polo), mutations have been defined that trigger tumorous overproliferation of progenitor cells and reveal how unrestricted self-renewing capacity is controlled. Moreover, microRNAs have been discovered as essential regulators of stem cell division rate and identity, suggesting that stem cell self-renewal depends on protein translational control. Biosynthetic capacity has also been found to be limiting for stem cell division rates. Finally, asymmetric cell division can impose dominant differentiation signals in a stem cell's daughter, and this can inhibit the stem cell-specific proliferation signature and lock in cell cycle exit.

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