The Stem Cell Report with Martin Pera

PiWi – The Not-So-Small and Expanding Role of RNA Binding Proteins

March 13, 2023 Season 2 Episode 7
The Stem Cell Report with Martin Pera
PiWi – The Not-So-Small and Expanding Role of RNA Binding Proteins
Show Notes

The PiWi family of genes may have a diminutive sounding name, but they have a large role in the function of the germline and germline stem cells. Initially discovered in Drosophila, these highly conserved RNA-binding proteins have well-established roles in the regulation of spermatogenesis and germ stem cell maintenance, in addition to silencing transposable elements. However, PiWi function outside of the germline is relatively unexplored. New findings from the Lin laboratory show that Drosophila Piwi has a role in intestinal homeostasis where it functions to establish intestinal stem cells, maintain the enteroblast lineage, and support of the enterocytes. It also has a role in silencing retrotransposons of the gut. Collectively, these intestinal roles of PiWi are critical to organismal longevity as the loss of PiWi leads to a shortened lifespan in the fly.
Martin Pera is joined by scientists Drs. Haifan Lin and Xiongzhuo Tang. Dr. Lin is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology and the Founding Director of the Yale Stem Cell Center. Among his many achievements, Haifan is a member of US National Academy of Sciences, a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is currently the president of the ISSCR. 

Xiongzhuo Tang was a postdoctoral fellow in the Lin laboratory and is now a professor in the Animal and Nutritional Genome and Germplasm Innovation Research Center in the College of Animal Science and Technology at the Hunan Agricultural University in Hunan China.

Drs. Lin and Tang are authors of the recent paper published in Stem Cell Reports entitled, Piwi maintains homeostasis in the Drosophila adult intestine.

Haifan Lin, PhD, Yale University
Xiongzhuo Tang, PhD, Hunan Agricultural University

Martin Pera, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Stem Cell Reports and The Jackson Laboratory
Twitter: @martinperaJAX

Supporting Content
Piwi maintains homeostasis in the Drosophila adult intestine, Tang, et al., Stem Cell Reports (2023)

About Stem Cell Reports
Stem Cell Reports is the open access journal of the ISSCR for communicating basic discoveries in stem cell research, in addition to translational and clinical studies. Stem Cell Reports focuses on original research with conceptual or practical advances that are of broad interest to stem cell biologists and clinicians. Twitter: @StemCellReports

With more than 4,600 members from 75+ countries, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (@ISSCR) is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health.

Keith Alm, Chief Executive Officer
Yvonne Fisher, Managing Editor, Stem Cell Reports
Kym Kilbourne, Director of Media and Strategic Communications
Jack Mosher, Scientific Advisor

Voice Work
Ben Snitkoff