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Regulation of stem cell self-renewal versus differentiation is critical for embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Drosophila larval neuroblasts divide asymmetrically to self-renew, and are a model system for studying stem cell self-renewal. Here we identify three mutations showing increased brain neuroblast numbers that map to the aurora-A(More)
Asymmetric cell division generates cell diversity during development and regulates stem-cell self-renewal in Drosophila and mammals. In Drosophila, neuroblasts align their spindle with a cortical Partner of Inscuteable (Pins)-G alpha i crescent to divide asymmetrically, but the link between cortical polarity and the mitotic spindle is poorly understood.(More)
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation and is caused by the loss of function for Fragile X protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein thought to regulate synaptic plasticity by controlling the localization and translation of specific mRNAs. We have recently shown that FMRP is required to control the proliferation of the(More)
Centrosome asymmetry has been implicated in stem cell fate maintenance in both flies and vertebrates [1, 2]. Drosophila neuroblasts, the neural precursors of the fly's central nervous system [3], contain molecularly and physically asymmetric centrosomes, established through differences in pericentriolar matrix (PCM) retention [4-7]. For instance, the(More)
Cell division orientation during animal development can serve to correctly organize and shape tissues, create cellular diversity or both. The underlying cellular mechanism is regulated spindle orientation. Depending on the developmental context, extrinsic signals or intrinsic cues control the correct orientation of the mitotic spindle. Cell geometry has(More)
Precise regulation of stem cell self-renewal/differentiation is essential for embryogenesis and tumor suppression. Drosophila neural progenitors (neuroblasts) align their spindle along an apical/basal polarity axis to generate a self-renewed apical neuroblast and a differentiating basal cell. Here, we genetically disrupt spindle orientation without altering(More)
The cytokinetic cleavage furrow is typically positioned symmetrically relative to the cortical cell boundaries, but it can also be asymmetric. The mechanisms that control furrow site specification have been intensively studied, but how polar cortex movements influence ultimate furrow position remains poorly understood. We measured the position of the apical(More)
The mitotic spindle determines the cleavage furrow site during metazoan cell division, but whether other mechanisms exist remains unknown. Here we identify a spindle-independent mechanism for cleavage furrow positioning in Drosophila neuroblasts. We show that early and late furrow proteins (Pavarotti, Anillin, and Myosin) are localized to the neuroblast(More)
Drosophila and mammals 3,4. In Drosophila, neuroblasts align their spindle with a cortical Partner of Inscuteable (Pins)−Gαi crescent to divide asymmetrically, but the link between cortical polarity and the mitotic spindle is poorly understood. Here, we show that Pins directly binds, and coimmunoprecipitates with, the NuMA-related Mushroom body defect (Mud)(More)