Nicole Stokes

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Although in vitro studies of embryonic stem cells have identified polycomb repressor complexes (PRCs) as key regulators of differentiation, it remains unclear as to how PRC-mediated mechanisms control fates of multipotent progenitors in developing tissues. Here, we show that an essential PRC component, Ezh2, is expressed in epidermal progenitors but(More)
Hair follicles (HFs) undergo cyclic bouts of degeneration, rest, and regeneration. During rest (telogen), the hair germ (HG) appears as a small cell cluster between the slow-cycling bulge and dermal papilla (DP). Here we show that HG cells are derived from bulge stem cells (SCs) but become responsive quicker to DP-promoting signals. In vitro, HG cells also(More)
Polycomb protein group (PcG)-dependent trimethylation on H3K27 (H3K27me3) regulates identity of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). How H3K27me3 governs adult SCs and tissue development is unclear. Here, we conditionally target H3K27 methyltransferases Ezh2 and Ezh1 to address their roles in mouse skin homeostasis. Postnatal phenotypes appear only in doubly(More)
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromatin silencing factor Sir2 suppresses genomic instability and extends replicative life span. In contrast, we find that mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for SIRT1, a mammalian Sir2 homolog, have dramatically increased resistance to replicative senescence. Extended replicative life span of SIRT1-deficient MEFs(More)
During the hair cycle, follicle stem cells (SCs) residing in a specialized niche called the "bulge" undergo bouts of quiescence and activation to cyclically regenerate new hairs. Developmental studies have long implicated the canonical bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway in hair follicle (HF) determination and differentiation, but how BMP signaling(More)
Co-expression and gene linkage have hampered elucidating the physiological relevance of cadherins in mammalian tissues. Here, we combine conditional gene ablation and transgenic RNA interference to uncover new roles for E- and P-cadherins in epidermal sheet formation in vitro and maintenance of epidermal integrity in vivo. By devising skin-specific RNAi(More)
Increasing evidence suggests that microRNAs may play important roles in regulating self-renewal and differentiation in mammalian stem cells (SCs). Here, we explore this issue in skin. We first characterize microRNA expression profiles of skin SCs versus their committed proliferative progenies and identify a microRNA subset associating with "stemness." Of(More)
Ciliogenesis precedes lineage-determining signaling in skin development. To understand why, we performed shRNA-mediated knockdown of seven intraflagellar transport proteins (IFTs) and conditional ablation of Ift-88 and Kif3a during embryogenesis. In both cultured keratinocytes and embryonic epidermis, all of these eliminated cilia, and many (not Kif3a)(More)
Adult stem cells sustain tissue maintenance and regeneration throughout the lifetime of an animal. These cells often reside in specific signalling niches that orchestrate the stem cell's balancing act between quiescence and cell-cycle re-entry based on the demand for tissue regeneration. How stem cells maintain their capacity to replenish themselves after(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in differentiation of stem cells. However, the precise dynamics of miRNA induction during stem cell differentiation have not been visualized and molecular mechanisms through which miRNAs execute their function remain unclear. Using high-resolution in situ hybridization together with cell lineage and proliferation(More)