The Drosophila nuclear lamina protein otefin is required for germline stem cell survival

Dev Cell. 2013 Jun 24;25(6):645-54. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.05.023.


LEM domain (LEM-D) proteins are components of an extensive protein network that assembles beneath the inner nuclear envelope. Defects in LEM-D proteins cause tissue-restricted human diseases associated with altered stem cell homeostasis. Otefin (Ote) is a Drosophila LEM-D protein that is intrinsically required for female germline stem cell (GSC) maintenance. Previous studies linked Ote loss with transcriptional activation of the key differentiation gene bag-of-marbles (bam), leading to the model in which Ote tethers the bam gene to the nuclear periphery for gene silencing. Using genetic and phenotypic analyses of multiple ote(-/-) backgrounds, we obtained evidence that is inconsistent with this model. We show that bam repression is maintained in ote(-/-) GSCs and that germ cell loss persists in ote(-/-), bam(-/-) mutants, together demonstrating that GSC loss is independent of bam transcription. We show that the primary defect in ote(-/-) GSCs is a block of differentiation, which ultimately leads to germ cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Germ Cells / cytology
  • Germ Cells / physiology*
  • Germ-Line Mutation / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Nuclear Lamina / genetics
  • Nuclear Lamina / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Ote protein, Drosophila
  • bam protein, Drosophila