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Cell Rep. 2015 Nov 17;13(7):1366-1379. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.017. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Twin Promotes the Maintenance and Differentiation of Germline Stem Cell Lineage through Modulation of Multiple Pathways.

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Tsinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50(th) Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.
Interdisciplinary Research Center on Biology and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 345 Ling Ling Road, Shanghai 200032, China.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50(th) Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA; Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. Electronic address:


The central question in stem cell regulation is how the balance between self-renewal and differentiation is controlled at the molecular level. This study uses germline stem cells (GSCs) in the Drosophila ovary to demonstrate that the Drosophila CCR4 homolog Twin is required intrinsically to promote both GSC self-renewal and progeny differentiation. Twin/CCR4 is one of the two catalytic subunits in the highly conserved CCR4-NOT mRNA deadenylase complex. Twin works within the CCR4-NOT complex to intrinsically maintain GSC self-renewal, at least partly by sustaining E-cadherin-mediated GSC-niche interaction and preventing transposable element-induced DNA damage. It promotes GSC progeny differentiation by forming protein complexes with differentiation factors Bam and Bgcn independently of other CCR4-NOT components. Interestingly, Bam can competitively inhibit the association of Twin with Pop2 in the CCR4-NOT complex. Therefore, this study demonstrates that Twin has important intrinsic roles in promoting GSC self-renewal and progeny differentiation by functioning in different protein complexes.

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