Unfold the epigenetic roadmap that directs cell differentiation
A precise control over progenitor proliferation is essential for maintaining tissue homeostasis. While precocious differentiation compromises tissue integrity, delayed onset of differentiation leads to tissue overgrowth and possibly tumorigenesis. Appearance of external cues is thought to determine the onset of differentiation. However, little is known about how progenitors become epigenetically competent to respond to induction cues in vivo. Here, our main research interest is to understand the establishment of epigenetic landscape that dictates progenitor competence to control the precise timing of transition from progenitors to differentiated cells.
Visualize epigenetic plasticity in vivo
During cell divisions, the transcription state of individual genes is epigenetically inherited so that the mother cell and the daughter cell share very similar transcriptome.
However, by examining if GFP expression is preserved during cell divisions, we use UAS-GAL4::GFP as an epigenetic timestamp. We discovered that the precursor cells (i.e., stem cells and progenitors) may initially allow less epigenetic inheritance to underlie their proliferative property.