Stem cell niche exit in C. elegans via orientation and segregation of daughter cells by a cryptic cell outside the niche.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Stem cells reside in and rely upon their niche to maintain stemness but must balance self-renewal with the production of daughters that leave the niche to differentiate. We discovered a mechanism of stem cell niche exit in the canonical C. elegans distal tip cell (DTC) germ stem cell niche mediated by previously unobserved, thin, membranous protrusions of the adjacent somatic gonad cell pair (Sh1). A disproportionate number of germ cell divisions were observed at the DTC-Sh1 interface. Stem-like and differentiating cell fates segregated across this boundary. Spindles polarized, pairs of daughter cells oriented between the DTC and Sh1, and Sh1 grew over the Sh1-facing daughter. Impeding Sh1 growth by RNAi to cofilin and Arp2/3 perturbed the DTC-Sh1 interface, reduced germ cell proliferation, and shifted a differentiation marker. Because Sh1 membrane protrusions eluded detection for decades, it is possible that similar structures actively regulate niche exit in other systems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gordon, KL; Zussman, JW; Li, X; Miller, C; Sherwood, DR

Published Date

  • July 21, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 /

Start / End Page

  • e56383 -

PubMed ID

  • 32692313

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7467730

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2050-084X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2050-084X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7554/elife.56383

Language

  • eng