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Intrinsic regulation of enteroendocrine fate by Numb

22:11 EDT 3 Jul 2017 | Nature Publishing

How terminal cell fates are specified in dynamically renewing adult tissues is not well understood. Here we explore terminal cell fate establishment during homeostasis using the enteroendocrine cells (EEs) of the adult Drosophila midgut as a paradigm. Our data argue against the existence of local feedback signals, and we identify Numb as an intrinsic regulator of EE fate. Our data further indicate that Numb, with alpha-adaptin, acts upstream or in parallel of known regulators of EE fate to limit Notch signaling, thereby facilitating EE fate acquisition. We find that Numb is regulated in part through its asymmetric and symmetric distribution during stem cell divisions; however, its de novo synthesis is also required during the differentiation of the EE cell. Thus, this work identifies Numb as a crucial factor for cell fate choice in the adult Drosophila intestine. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that cell-intrinsic control mechanisms of terminal cell fate acquisition can result in a balanced tissue-wide production of terminally differentiated cell types.

Original Article: Intrinsic regulation of enteroendocrine fate by Numb

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