Self-renewal is the process of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same cell type. All stem cells have the capacity to self-renew by dividing.

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  • News and Views |

    Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained in vivo by intrinsic programs and extrinsic niche signals. Ex vivo expansion of HSCs is limited, owing to reduced stem cell maintenance factors. A study now shows that rejuvenated niche cells can be obtained by transcriptional rewiring of specific genes that maintain and expand HSCs ex vivo.

    • Aparna Venkatraman
    •  & Linheng Li
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 540-541
  • News and Views |

    The cancer-suppressive mechanisms underlying a tissue’s response to spontaneous oncogenic mutations during homeostasis are largely unknown. A study now explores how clonal expansion of epidermal stem cells with specific oncogenic mutations might be restricted by their elimination through enforced differentiation.

    • Paola Kuri
    •  & Panteleimon Rompolas
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 1237-1239
  • News and Views |

    The dogma that self-renewal is a defining characteristic of stem cells, which stemmed from studies of the hematopoietic hierarchy and quickly spread by analogy to all tissues, has been shattered by scientists pointing a microscope at the hematopoietic system itself. A microglial cell is clearly fully differentiated, and yet it self-renews.

    • Fabio Rossi
    •  & Coral Lewis
    Nature Neuroscience 21, 455-456