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Biol Open. 2014 May 29;3(6):510-21. doi: 10.1242/bio.20147690.

Bällchen is required for self-renewal of germline stem cells in Drosophila melanogaster.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Developmental Biology, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany Present address: Renal Division, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. Present address: Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QN, UK. Present address: Department of Cellular Microbiology, Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
2
Present address: Renal Division, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.
3
Present address: Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QN, UK.
4
Present address: Department of Cellular Microbiology, Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. herzig@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de.

Abstract

Self-renewing stem cells are pools of undifferentiated cells, which are maintained in cellular niche environments by distinct tissue-specific signalling pathways. In Drosophila melanogaster, female germline stem cells (GSCs) are maintained in a somatic niche of the gonads by BMP signalling. Here we report a novel function of the Drosophila kinase Bällchen (BALL), showing that its cell autonomous role is to maintain the self-renewing capacity of female GSCs independent of BMP signalling. ball mutant GSCs are eliminated from the niche and subsequently differentiate into mature eggs, indicating that BALL is largely dispensable for differentiation. Similar to female GSCs, BALL is required to maintain self-renewal of male GSCs, suggesting a tissue independent requirement of BALL for self-renewal of germline stem cells.

KEYWORDS:

Bällchen; Drosophila; Germline stem cells

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