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Nanos Maintains Germline Stem Cell Self-Renewal by Preventing Differentiation

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Science  26 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5666, pp. 2016-2019
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093983

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Abstract

Despite much progress in understanding how extrinsic signaling regulates stem cell self-renewal, little is known about how cell-autonomous gene regulation controls this process. In Drosophila ovaries, germline stem cells (GSCs) divide asymmetrically to produce daughter GSCs and cystoblasts, the latter of which develop into germline cysts. Here, we show that removing the translational repressor Nanos from either GSCs or their precursors, the primordial germ cells (PGCs), causes both cell types to differentiate into germline cysts. Thus, Nanos is essential for both establishing and maintaining GSCs by preventing their precocious entry into oogenesis. These functions are likely achieved by repressing the translation of differentiation factors in PGCs and GSCs.

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