Sept4/ARTS Regulates Stem Cell Apoptosis and Skin Regeneration

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Science  20 Jun 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1233029

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Adult stem cells (SCs) are essential for tissue homeostasis and wound repair. Their proliferative capacity must be tightly regulated to prevent the emergence of unwanted and potentially dangerous cells, such as cancer cells. We show that mice deficient for the pro-apoptotic Sept4/ARTS gene have elevated numbers of hair follicle SCs (HFSCs) that are protected against apoptosis. Sept4/ARTS−/− mice display dramatic improvement in wound healing and regeneration of hair follicles (HFs). These phenotypes depend upon HFSCs as indicated by lineage tracing. Furthermore, inactivation of XIAP, a direct target of ARTS, abrogates these phenotypes and impairs wound healing. Our results indicate that apoptosis plays an important role in regulating SC-dependent regeneration and suggest that this pathway may be a target for regenerative medicine.

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