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Dev Biol. 2011 Jun 1;354(1):31-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.03.018. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

EGFR, Wingless and JAK/STAT signaling cooperatively maintain Drosophila intestinal stem cells.

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1
Department of Pediatrics (Neonatology), Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Abstract

Tissue-specific adult stem cells are commonly associated with local niche for their maintenance and function. In the adult Drosophila midgut, the surrounding visceral muscle maintains intestinal stem cells (ISCs) by stimulating Wingless (Wg) and JAK/STAT pathway activities, whereas cytokine production in mature enterocytes also induces ISC division and epithelial regeneration, especially in response to stress. Here we show that EGFR/Ras/ERK signaling is another important participant in promoting ISC maintenance and division in healthy intestine. The EGFR ligand Vein is specifically expressed in muscle cells and is important for ISC maintenance and proliferation. Two additional EGFR ligands, Spitz and Keren, function redundantly as possible autocrine signals to promote ISC maintenance and proliferation. Notably, over-activated EGFR signaling could partially replace Wg or JAK/STAT signaling for ISC maintenance and division, and vice versa. Moreover, although disrupting any single one of the three signaling pathways shows mild and progressive ISC loss over time, simultaneous disruption of them all leads to rapid and complete ISC elimination. Taken together, our data suggest that Drosophila midgut ISCs are maintained cooperatively by multiple signaling pathway activities and reinforce the notion that visceral muscle is a critical component of the ISC niche.

PMID:
21440535
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.03.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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