Journal Article

Fragile X mental retardation protein modulates the fate of germline stem cells in <i>Drosophila</i>

Lele Yang, Ranhui Duan, Dongsheng Chen, Jun Wang, Dahua Chen and Peng Jin

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 16, issue 15, pages 1814-1820
Published in print August 2007 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddm129
Fragile X mental retardation protein modulates the fate of germline stem cells in Drosophila

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Fragile X syndrome, a common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP, which may regulate translation in neurons, associates not only with specific mRNAs and microRNAs (miRNA), but also with components of the miRNA pathway, including Dicer and Argonaute proteins. In Drosophila, dFmr1 is also known to be involved in germ cell and oocyte specification; however, the question of whether dFmr1 is required for controlling the fate of germline stem cells (GSCs) has gone unanswered. Here we show that dFmr1 is required for both GSC maintenance and repressing differentiation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in Drosophila ovary, dFmr1 protein interacts with Argonaute protein 1 (AGO1), a key component of the miRNA pathway. Thus dFmr1 could modulate the fate of GSCs, likely via the miRNA pathway. Our results provide the first evidence that FMRP might be involved in the regulation of adult stem cells.

Journal Article.  4361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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