Germline Stem Cells Anchored by Adherens Junctions in the Drosophila Ovary Niches

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Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1855-1857
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069871

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How stem cells are recruited to and maintained in their niches is crucial to understanding their regulation and use in regenerative medicine. Here, we demonstrate that DE-cadherin–mediated cell adhesion is required for anchoring germline stem cells (GSCs) in their niches in the Drosophila ovary. Two major components of this adhesion process, DE-cadherin and Armadillo/β-catenin, accumulate at high levels in the junctions between GSCs and cap cells, one of the niche components. Removal of these proteins from GSCs results in stem cell loss. Furthermore, DE-cadherin is required for recruiting GSCs to their niche. Our study demonstrates that anchorage of GSCs in their niche by DE-cadherin–mediated adhesion is important for stem cell maintenance and function.

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