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Development. 2016 Oct 1;143(19):3449-3458. Epub 2016 Aug 10.

Control of germline stem cell differentiation by Polycomb and Trithorax group genes in the niche microenvironment.

Author information

  • 1College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China National Institute of Biological Sciences, No. 7 Science Park Road, Zhongguancun Life Science Park, Beijing 102206, China.
  • 2National Institute of Biological Sciences, No. 7 Science Park Road, Zhongguancun Life Science Park, Beijing 102206, China.
  • 3National Institute of Biological Sciences, No. 7 Science Park Road, Zhongguancun Life Science Park, Beijing 102206, China xirongwen@nibs.ac.cn.

Abstract

Polycomb and Trithorax group (PcG and TrxG) genes function to regulate gene transcription by maintaining a repressive or active chromatin state, respectively. This antagonistic activity is important for body patterning during embryonic development, but whether this function module has a role in adult tissues is unclear. Here, we report that in the Drosophila ovary, disruption of the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), specifically in the supporting escort cells, causes blockage of cystoblast differentiation and germline stem cell-like tumor formation. Tumors are caused by derepression of decapentaplegic (dpp), which prevents cystoblast differentiation. Interestingly, activation of dpp in escort cells requires the function of the TrxG gene brahma (brm), suggesting that loss of PRC1 in escort cells causes Brm-dependent dpp expression. Our study suggests a requirement for balanced activity between PcG and TrxG in an adult stem cell niche, and disruption of this balance could lead to the loss of tissue homeostasis and tumorigenesis.

KEYWORDS:

Brahma; Decapentaplegic; Differentiation niche; Drosophila ovary; Escort cell; Germline stem cell; Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1)

PMID:
27510973
DOI:
10.1242/dev.137638
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