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22.11.18 Role for Notch signalling in neural stem cell state progression in Drosophila brain

last modified Nov 28, 2018 04:33 PM
The Brand lab publish in Neural Development on the dynamic regulation of Notch signalling in the transition from optic lobe neuroepithelial cells to asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells
22.11.18 Role for Notch signalling in neural stem cell state progression in Drosophila brain

Fig1b: Immunostaining showing upregulation of Notch signalling (green) before the transition to asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells (blue).

Dynamic Notch signalling regulates neural stem cell state progression in the Drosophila optic lobe

Contreras EG, Egger B, Gold KS and Brand AH. (2018) Neural Development 13(1):25. DOI:10.1186/s13064-018-0123-8.

 

Abstract from the paper

Background

Neural stem cells generate all of the neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system, both during development and in the adult to maintain homeostasis. In the Drosophila optic lobe, neuroepithelial cells progress through two transient progenitor states, PI and PII, before transforming into neuroblasts. Here we analyse the role of Notch signalling in the transition from neuroepithelial cells to neuroblasts.

Results

We observed dynamic regulation of Notch signalling: strong activity in PI progenitors, low signalling in PII progenitors, and increased activity after neuroblast transformation. Ectopic expression of the Notch ligand Delta induced the formation of ectopic PI progenitors.

Interestingly, we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Neuralized, regulates Delta levels and Notch signalling activity at the transition zone. We demonstrate that the proneural transcription factor, Lethal of scute, is essential to induce expression of Neuralized and promote the transition from the PI progenitor to the PII progenitor state.

Conclusions

Our results show dynamic regulation of Notch signalling activity in the transition from neuroepithelial cells to neuroblasts. We propose a model in which Lethal of scute activates Notch signalling in a non-cell autonomous manner by regulating the expression of Neuralized, thereby promoting the progression between different neural stem cell states.

 

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Read more about research in the Brand lab.

Watch Andrea Brand describe her research on video.

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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