Maintenance of retinal stem cells by Abcg2 is regulated by notch signaling

Sumitra Bhattacharya, Ani Das, Kavita Mallya, Iqbal Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


ABCG2 belongs to the ATP-binding cassette superfamily of transmembrane proteins and is ubiquitously expressed in stem cells including those in the developing nervous system. The ability of ABCG2 to preferentially exclude DNA-intercalating dyes is regarded to be the basis for the enrichment of stem cells or progenitors as dyelow side population (SP) cells. However, the role of ABCG2 in neural stem cells remains speculative and poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate using retinal stem cells, that ABCG2 is the molecular determinant of SP cell phenotype of neural stem cells and plays an important role in their maintenance. Overexpression of ABCG2 prevents the SP cell phenotype and adversely affects the lineage commitment of retinal stem cells. By contrast, targeted attenuation of ABCG2 depletes retinal SP cells and promotes their differentiation along pan neural and retinal lineages. In addition, we demonstrate for the first time that ABCG2 is a target of Notch signaling, and as such, constitutes one of the genes in the regulatory network of Notch signaling, involved in the maintenance of stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2652-2662
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • ABCG2
  • Notch
  • Progenitors
  • Retina
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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