Epigenetic stability increases extensively during Drosophila follicle stem cell differentiation

Andrew D. Skora, Allan C. Spradling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stem and embryonic cells facilitate programming toward multiple daughter cell fates, whereas differentiated cells resist reprogramming and oncogenic transformation. How alterations in the chromatin-based machinery of epigenetic inheritance contribute to these differences remains poorly known. We observed random, heritable changes in GAL4/UAS transgene programming during Drosophila ovarian follicle stem cell differentiation and used them to measure the stage-specific epigenetic stability of gene programming. The frequency of GAL4/UAS reprogramming declines more than 100-fold over the nine divisions comprising this stem cell lineage. Stabilization acts in cis, suggesting that it is chromatin-based, and correlates with increased S phase length. Our results suggest that stem/early progenitor cells cannot accurately transmit nongenetic information to their progeny; full epigenetic competence is acquired only gradually during early differentiation. Modulating epigenetic inheritance may be a critical process controlling transitions between the pleuripotent and differentiated states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7389-7394
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 20 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell lineage
  • Epigenetic inheritance
  • Pleuripotency
  • Reprogramming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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