Cell lineage

A cell lineage is the developmental history of a differentiated cell as traced back to the cell from which it arises. The cells of some organisms, such as C. elegans, have invariant lineages between individuals, whereas vertebrate cell lineage patterns are more variable.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Nature describes RNA velocity, which is a computational method to derive dynamic gene expression information from static single-cell RNA sequencing data. It provides valuable insights into developmental trajectories of cells.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • News and Views |

    Enteroendocrine (EE) cells secrete diverse peptide hormones, regulating food intake, digestion and metabolism. A study now challenges the traditional view that each hormone is the dominant product of a distinct EE cell type, showing that in response to local cues the same cell produces different hormones in different tissue compartments.

    • Ramesh A. Shivdasani
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 865-867
  • News and Views |

    Mapping cell lineages onto a problem in graph theory suggests that physical principles regulate cell positioning during egg development in the fruit fly — providing an elegant example of how physics can advance our understanding of biology.

    • Ben D. MacArthur
    Nature Physics 14, 975-976
  • News and Views |

    Early studies showing that KIT+ cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) could differentiate into cardiomyocytes generated excitement regarding their potential therapeutic application. Subsequent studies called their functional relevance into question, and while claims for a contribution of KIT+ CPCs to myocardial regeneration continue, two new studies confirm the doubts about their relevance to cardiomyogenesis and provide unexpected new insights.

    • Giovanni Maroli
    •  & Thomas Braun
  • Research Highlights |

    Three new studies in Nature and Nature Biotechnology report methods for dissecting transcriptomic cell phenotypes and lineage history simultaneously by combining single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) with CRISPR-based lineage tracing.

    • Darren J. Burgess