Hedgehog in the Drosophila testis niche: What does it do there?

Zhao Zhang, Chenyu Pan, Yun Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Stem cell niche is a specialized microenvironment crucial to self-renewal. The testis in Drosophila contains two different types of stem cells, the germline stem cells and the somatic cyst stem cells that are sustained by their respective niche signals, thus is a good system for studying the interaction between the stem cells and their hosting niche. The JAK-STAT and BMP pathways are known to play critical roles in the self-renewal of different kinds of stem cells, but the roles of several other pathways have emerged recently in a complex signaling network in the testis niche. Reports of independent observations from three research groups have uncovered an important role of Hedgehog (Hh) in the Drosophila testis niche. In this review, we summarize these recent findings and discuss the interplay between the Hh signaling mechanisms and those of the JAK-STAT and BMP pathways. We also discuss directions for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-655
Number of pages6
JournalProtein and Cell
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Drosophila
  • Hedgehog
  • stem cell
  • testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Cell Biology


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