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Stem cell niche organization in the Drosophila ovary requires the ECM component Perlecan


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Diaz-Torres, A, Rosales-Nieves, AE, Pearson, JR, Santa-Cruz Mateos, C, Marin-Menguiano, M, Marshall, OJ ORCID: 0000-0003-1605-3871, Brand, AH and Gonzalez-Reyes, A 2021 , 'Stem cell niche organization in the Drosophila ovary requires the ECM component Perlecan' , Current Biology, vol. 31, no. 8 , 1744-1753.e5 , doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.071.

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Stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments or niches that balance stem cell proliferation and differentiation.1,23-11 Basement membranes (BMs) are thin ECM sheets that are constituted mainly by Laminins, Perlecan, Collagen IV, and Entactin/Nidogen and surround epithelia and other tissues.12 Perlecans are secreted proteoglycans that interact with ECM proteins, ligands, receptors, and growth factors such as FGF, PDGF, VEGF, Hedgehog, and Wingless.13-18 Thus, Perlecans have structural and signaling functions through the binding, storage, or sequestering of specific ligands. We have used the Drosophila ovary to assess the importance of Perlecan in the functioning of a stem cell niche. Ovarioles in the adult ovary are enveloped by an ECM sheath and possess a tapered structure at their anterior apex termed the germarium. The anterior tip of the germarium hosts the germline niche, where two to four germline stem cells (GSCs) reside together with a few somatic cells: terminal filament cells (TFCs), cap cells (CpCs), and escort cells (ECs).19 We report that niche architecture in the developing gonad requires trol, that niche cells secrete an isoform-specific Perlecan-rich interstitial matrix, and that DE-cadherin-dependent stem cell-niche adhesion necessitates trol. Hence, we provide evidence to support a structural role for Perlecan in germline niche establishment during larval stages and in the maintenance of a normal pool of stem cells in the adult niche.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Diaz-Torres, A and Rosales-Nieves, AE and Pearson, JR and Santa-Cruz Mateos, C and Marin-Menguiano, M and Marshall, OJ and Brand, AH and Gonzalez-Reyes, A
Keywords: Drosophila oogenesis, ECM, Perlecan, adult stem cells, germline stem cells, ovarian niche
Journal or Publication Title: Current Biology
Publisher: Cell Press
ISSN: 0960-9822
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.071
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Copyright 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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