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Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology

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Cell Biology


We reveal surprising similarities between homeostatic cell turnover in adult Drosophila midguts and "undead" apoptosis-induced compensatory proliferation (AiP) in imaginal discs. During undead AiP, immortalized cells signal for AiP, allowing its analysis. Critical for undead AiP is the Myo1D-dependent localization of the initiator caspase Dronc to the plasma membrane. Here, we show that Myo1D functions in mature enterocytes (ECs) to control mitotic activity of intestinal stem cells (ISCs). In Myo1D mutant midguts, many signaling events involved in AiP (ROS generation, hemocyte recruitment, and JNK signaling) are affected. Importantly, similar to AiP, Myo1D is required for membrane localization of Dronc in ECs. We propose that ECs destined to die transiently enter an undead-like state through Myo1D-dependent membrane localization of Dronc, which enables them to generate signals for ISC activity and their replacement. The concept of transiently "undead" cells may be relevant for other stem cell models in flies and mammals.


Dronc, Drosophila melanogaster, Duox, JNK, Myo1D, apoptosis-induced proliferation, enterocyte, hemocyte, posterior midgut, undead state

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Copyright 2020 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Amcheslavsky A, Lindblad JL, Bergmann A. Transiently "Undead" Enterocytes Mediate Homeostatic Tissue Turnover in the Adult Drosophila Midgut. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 24;33(8):108408. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108408. PMID: 33238125; PMCID: PMC7754855. Link to article on publisher's site

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Cell reports

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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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