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Orientation of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division by the APC Tumor Suppressor and Centrosome

Science  12 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5639, pp. 1547-1550
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087795

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Abstract

Stem cell self-renewal can be specified by local signals from the surrounding microenvironment, or niche. However, the relation between the niche and the mechanisms that ensure the correct balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is poorly understood. Here, we show that dividing Drosophila male germline stem cells use intracellular mechanisms involving centrosome function and cortically localized Adenomatous Polyposis Coli tumor suppressor protein to orient mitotic spindles perpendicular to the niche, ensuring a reliably asymmetric outcome in which one daughter cell remains in the niche and self-renews stem cell identity, whereas the other, displaced away, initiates differentiation.

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