UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Biology | Developmental Biology


Transcriptional silencing is a conserved process used by embryonic germ cells to repress somatic fate and maintain totipotency and immortality. In Drosophila, this transcriptional silencing is mediated by polar granule component (pgc). Here, we show that in the adult ovary, pgc is required for timely germline stem cell (GSC) differentiation. Pgc is expressed transiently in the immediate GSC daughter (pre-cystoblast), where it mediates a pulse of transcriptional silencing. This transcriptional silencing mediated by pgc indirectly promotes the accumulation of Cyclin B (CycB) and cell cycle progression into late-G2 phase, when the differentiation factor bag of marbles (bam) is expressed. Pgc mediated accumulation of CycB is also required for heterochromatin deposition, which protects the germ line genome against selfish DNA elements. Our results suggest that transient transcriptional silencing in the pre-cystoblast "re-programs" it away from self-renewal and toward the gamete differentiation program.


Cell cycle, Differentiation, Germ line, Heterochromatin, Stem cells, Transcriptional silencing

Rights and Permissions

© 2017 The Authors. Open Access funded by National Institutes of Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Dev Biol. 2018 Feb 1;434(1):84-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.11.014. Epub 2017 Dec 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Developmental biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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