Notch signaling acts as a key regulator in generation of neurons from neural precursor cells


Recently, an article reported Notch signaling plays a central role before asymmetric division and in the fate of Drosophila melanogaster neural precursor cells. It was published on Science Signaling.


In Drosophila melanogaster, some of the ganglion mother cells (GMC-1) which are intermediate neural precursor cells, typically undergo asymmetric division. Two different neurons are generated from one precursor cell. K. M. Bhat, from University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, found genetic inhibition of Notch signaling leads to a generation of two same cells from GMC-1, indicating the decisive role of Notch in neuron cell size and fate. Moreover, He mentioned Numb, as a inhibitor of Notch signaling, localizes asymmetrically during the unequal cleavage. In this process, Numb only locates in one daughter cell, as it inhibits Notch signaling, causes a different fate between Numb-positive and Numb-negative daughter cells. Also, he found inactivation of Notch at different time points of cell cleavage altered the degree of unbalanced distribution of Numb.


The results offer a noticeable progress in understanding the mechanism of asymmetric cleavage and different fate of daughter cells during neurogenesis. Notch signaling acts as a critical factor in Numb distribution in neural precursor cells before cleavage.


Sci Signal. 2014 Oct 21;7(348):ra101.

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