Interactions between Slit-Robo and JAK-STAT signaling in regulation of stem cell-niche adhesion


Adult stem cells reside in specialized tissue microenvironments, or called niches, which produced complex signals for stem cell maintenance. Those signals are essential for stem cell niches by suppressing differentiation and promoting stem cell and niche attachment. Rachel R. Stine et al. found Slit-Robo and JAK-STAT signaling pathways play key roles in stem cells competition within their niches. The article was published in PLoS Genetics, recently.


Researchers used Drosophila testis as a material for investigating how signals regulate adhesion between stem cell and niche in vivo. Quiescent hub cells control adjacent germline and cyst stem cells (GSCs and CySCs), the two populations need to compete for limited space in a testis niche. In the study, researchers demonstrated Roundabout 2 (Robo2), a receptor of Slit signaling molecule, and Abelson tyrosine kinase (Abl), a Silt-Robo effector, are required in regulating adhesion of CySCs to niche. Further investigation revealed the expression of Robo2 is regulated by JAK-STAT signaling, a key pathway for GSCs and CySCs maintenance. This work shows the connection between JAK-STAT and Silt-Robo signaling pathways, which have not been previously reported, in regulation of stem cells adhesion with niche. This finding of two highly conserved pathway provide a possibility that similar mechanisms may be employed in other tissues.


PloS Genet. 2014 Nov 6;10(11):e1004713.

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