Stem cell decisions: A twist of fate or a niche market?

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    Establishing and maintaining cell fate in the right place at the right time is a key requirement for normal tissue maintenance. Stem cells are at the core of this process. Understanding how stem cells balance self-renewal and production of differentiating cells is key for understanding the defects that underpin many diseases. Both, external cues from the environment and cell intrinsic mechanisms can control the outcome of stem cell division. The role of the orientation of stem cell division has emerged as an important mechanism for specifying cell fate decisions. Although, the alignment of cell divisions can dependent on spatial cues from the environment, maintaining stemness is not always linked to positioning of stem cells in a particular microenvironment or `niche'. Alternate mechanisms that could contribute to cellular memory include differential segregation of centrosomes in asymmetrically dividing cells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-123
    Number of pages8
    JournalSeminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
    Early online date5 Mar 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


    • spindle orientation
    • centrosome segregation
    • Stem cells
    • asymmetric cell division


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