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Strand, M., Micchelli, C.A. (2011). Quiescent gastric stem cells maintain the adult Drosophila stomach.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108(43): 17696--17701.
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Research paper

The adult Drosophila copper cell region or "stomach" is a highly acidic compartment of the midgut with pH < 3. In this region, a specialized group of acid-secreting cells similar to mammalian gastric parietal cells has been identified by a unique ultrastructure and by copper-metallothionein fluorescence. However, the homeostatic mechanism maintaining the acid-secreting "copper cells" of the adult midgut has not been examined. Here, we combine cell lineage tracing and genetic analysis to investigate the mechanism by which the gastric epithelium is maintained. Our investigation shows that a molecularly identifiable population of multipotent, self-renewing gastric stem cells (GSSCs) produces the acid-secreting copper cells, interstitial cells, and enteroendocrine cells of the stomach. Our assays demonstrate that GSSCs are largely quiescent but can be induced to regenerate the gastric epithelium in response to environmental challenge. Finally, genetic analysis reveals that adult GSSC maintenance depends on Wnt signaling. Characterization of the GSSC lineage in Drosophila, with striking similarities to mammals, will advance the study of both homeostatic and pathogenic processes in the stomach.

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PMC3203805 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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    Alleles (5)
    Genes (11)
    Insertions (3)
    Transgenic Constructs (2)