How can a cell divide into two different cells?
Asymmetrically dividing stem cell produces one stem cell and one differentiating cell, contributing to long term maintenance of stem cells. Research on the Drosophila germ line stem cell (GSC) system has provided important information for our understanding of many conserved stem cell characteristics. This model is especially suited to study asymmetric stem cell division in vivo due to its well-characterized tissue anatomy and defined cellular markers. Using this system, we elucidate the mechanism as to how two daughter cells of different fates are made after only one cell division. We are especially interested in the order of gene expression change, through various regulatory machineries, including 1) timing of DNA replication, 2) pairing of homologous gene regions and 3) RNA-chromatin interaction. Our discoveries will contribute to the understanding and development of new therapeutic approaches for cancers and degenerative diseases.