The division of Drosophila germline stem cells and their precursors requires a specific cyclin

Curr Biol. 2005 Feb 22;15(4):328-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.02.016.


A fundamental yet essentially unexplored question in stem cell biology is whether the stem cell cycle has specific features. Three B-cyclins in Drosophila, Cyclins (Cyc) A, B, and B3, associate with CDK1 and play partially redundant roles in embryogenic mitosis . Here, we show that the division of Drosophila GSCs and their precursors, the primordial germ cells (PGCs), specifically requires CycB. CycB is ubiquitously expressed in both germline and somatic lineages. However, CycB mutation does not have obvious effect on somatic development but causes PGCs to severely under proliferate. Moreover, both female and male CycB mutant GSCs fail to be maintained properly. Removing Cyclin B specifically from female GSCs causes the same defect, confirming the direct and cell-autonomous function of Cyclin B for GSC division. In contrast, two other G2 cyclins, CycA and CycB3, are also expressed in PGCs and GSCs, but overexpressing CycA cannot rescue the CycB mutant defects. These results indicate that the requirement of CycB for PGC and GSC divisions unlikely reflects the insufficient level of G2 cyclins in the CycB mutant but is in favor of a distinct function of CycB in these cells. Our results indicate that stem cells may use specific cell cycle regulators for their division.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cyclin B / genetics
  • Cyclin B / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Germ Cells / physiology
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • CycB protein, Drosophila
  • Cyclin B
  • Drosophila Proteins