John Tower, Ph.D.
University of Southern California

Replicative Senescence of Drosophila Stem Cells in Vivo.

Adult Drosophila tissues are post-mitotic except for the gonads, which contain both somatic stem cells and germ line stem cells. Oogenesis declines dramatically during aging, however it is unknown whether this results from a limited replicative potential of the stem cells or from other factors. Recent technological advances in our laboratory and others allow us to target gene over-expression, gene inactivation and mutant phenotypes to specific adult cell types, including the stem cells. We propose to study the mechanisms regulating somatic stem cell proliferation and senescence, and to determine what factor(s) limit the reproductive life span of Drosophila. The experiments are relevant to our understanding of cellular senescence, reproductive life span and organismal life span.

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