Regulating progenitor competence over time

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Science  15 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6270, pp. 237-238
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6270.237-d

Because stem and progenitor cells serve in development and repair, their integrity is crucial for maintaining tissue function throughout an organism's life. However, many cellular mechanisms break down with time, and stem cells are probably not immune to this process. Farnsworth et al. explore the Notch signaling pathway as involved in cell fate determination for specific Drosophila neuroprogenitors termed intermediate neural progenitors (INPs). Young INPs respond just fine to Notch signaling, but old INPs lose this ability because of the presence of the inhibiting transcription factor Eyeless/Pax6, which interferes with Notch regulation of its target genes. Identifying the mechanisms and effects of aging will assist in understanding development, injury, and disease as they change over time.

Curr. Biol. 25, 3058 (2015).

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