Upregulation of Mitimere and Nubbin acts through Cyclin E to confer self-renewing asymmetric division potential to neural precursor cells

Krishna Moorthi Bhat, Nora Apsel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


In the Drosophila CNS, neuroblasts undergo self-renewing asymmetric divisions, whereas their progeny, ganglion mother cells (GMCs), divide asymmetrically to generate terminal postmitotic neurons. It is not known whether GMCs have the potential to undergo self-renewing asymmetric divisions. It is also not known how precursor cells undergo self-renewing asymmetric divisions. Here, we report that maintaining high levels of Mitimere or Nubbin, two POU proteins, in a GMC causes it to undergo self-renewing asymmetric divisions. These asymmetric divisions are due to upregulation of Cyclin E in late GMC and its unequal distribution between two daughter cells. GMCs in an embryo overexpressing Cyclin E, or in an embryo mutant for archipelago, also undergo self-renewing asymmetric divisions. Although the GMC self-renewal is independent of inscuteable and numb, the fate of the differentiating daughter is inscuteable and numb-dependent. Our results reveal that regulation of Cyclin E levels, and asymmetric distribution of Cyclin E and other determinants, confer self-renewing asymmetric division potential to precursor cells, and thus define a pathway that regulates such divisions. These results add to our understanding of maintenance and loss of pluripotential stem cell identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1134
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004



  • Asymmetric division
  • Cyclin E
  • Drosphila
  • Mitimere
  • Nubbin
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology

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