me31Bregulates stem cell homeostasis by preventing excess dedifferentiation in theDrosophilamale germline

Jensen L, Venkei ZG, Watase GJ, Bisai B, Pletcher S, Lee C, Yamashita YM.
Preprint from
9 April 2021
Tissue-specific stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis by providing a continuous supply of differentiated cells throughout the life of organisms. Differentiated/differentiating cells can revert back to a stem cell identity via dedifferentiation to help maintain the stem cell pool beyond the lifetime of individual stem cells. Although dedifferentiation is important to maintain the stem cell population, it is speculated to underlie tumorigenesis. Therefore, this process must be tightly controlled. Here we show that a translational regulator me31B plays a critical role in preventing excess dedifferentiation in the Drosophila male germline: in the absence of me31B , spermatogonia (SGs) dedifferentiate into germline stem cells (GSCs) at a dramatically elevated frequency. Our results show that the excess dedifferentiation is likely due to misregulation of nos, a key regulator of germ cell identity and GSC maintenance. Taken together, our data reveal negative regulation of dedifferentiation to balance stem cell maintenance with differentiation.