Control of stem cell quiescence is essential for tissue development, homeostasis and repair; cancer; and, in the adult CNS, also learning, memory and mood. Quiescence consists of reversible cell-cycle arrest accompanied by low biosynthetic activity, which protects cells from environmental insults, replicative exhaustion and proliferation-induced mutations. Despite its importance, quiescence remains poorly understood. We propose to investigate the function of two evolutionarily conserved properties of NSCs as they transition between quiescent and active states: morphological changes and mitotic somatic translocation. Our focus will be on how alterations in biophysical properties mediate NSC transitions between quiescent and active states.
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