Dual role of BMP signaling in the regulation of Drosophila intestinal stem cell self-renewal

Aiguo Tian, Jin Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Many adult organs including Drosophila adult midguts rely on resident stem cells to replenish damaged cells during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Previous studies have shown that, upon injury, intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in the midguts can increase proliferation and lineage differentiation to meet the demand for tissue repair. Our recent study has demonstrated that, in response to certain injury, midguts can expand ISC population size as an additional regenerative mechanism. We found that injury elicited by bleomycin feeding or bacterial infection increased the production of two BMP ligands (Dpp and Gbb) in enterocytes (ECs), leading to elevated BMP signaling in progenitor cells that drove an expansion of ISCs by promoting their symmetric self-renewing division. Interestingly, we also found that BMP signaling in ECs inhibits the production of Dpp and Gbb, and that this negative feedback mechanism is required to reset ISC pool size to the homeostatic state. Our findings suggest that BMP signaling exerts two opposing influences on stem cell activity depending on where it acts: BMP signaling in progenitor cells promotes ISC self-renewal while BMP signaling in ECs restricts ISC self-renewal by preventing excessive production of BMP ligands. Our results further suggest that transient expansion of ISC population in conjunction with increasing ISC proliferation provides a more effective strategy for tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


  • BMP
  • Dpp
  • Gbb
  • ISC
  • N
  • Niche
  • Smad
  • adult stem cell
  • asymmetric division
  • differentiation
  • injury
  • midgut
  • proliferation
  • regeneration
  • self-renewal
  • signaling
  • symmetric division

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual role of BMP signaling in the regulation of Drosophila intestinal stem cell self-renewal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this