The intestinal epithelium is the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult animals and maintained by intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in both Drosophila and mammals. To comprehensively identify genes and pathways that regulate ISC fates, we performed a genome-wide transgenic RNAi screen in adult Drosophila intestine and identified 405 genes that regulate ISC maintenance and lineage-specific differentiation. By integrating these genes into publicly available interaction databases, we further developed functional networks that regulate ISC self-renewal, ISC proliferation, ISC maintenance of diploid status, ISC survival, ISC-to-enterocyte (EC) lineage differentiation, and ISC-to-enteroendocrine (EE) lineage differentiation. By comparing regulators among ISCs, female germline stem cells, and neural stem cells, we found that factors related to basic stem cell cellular processes are commonly required in all stem cells, and stem-cell-specific, niche-related signals are required only in the unique stem cell type. Our findings provide valuable insights into stem cell maintenance and lineage-specific differentiation.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.