Developmental Cell
This journal offers authors two options (open access or subscription) to publish research

Jan 24, 2022

Volume 57Issue 2p147-290
On the cover: Shown here are intestinal villi that have undergone atrophy following injury. Specialized differentiated epithelial cells (red) transiently cover damaged villi and provide barrier protection. To learn more about how adaptive differentiation can repair damaged villi, see Ohara et al. on page 166–179....
On the cover: Shown here are intestinal villi that have undergone atrophy following injury. Specialized differentiated epithelial cells (red) transiently cover damaged villi and provide barrier protection. To learn more about how adaptive differentiation can repair damaged villi, see Ohara et al. on page 166–179.


  • Adaptive differentiation for fast barrier restoration

    • Qiutan Yang,
    • Prisca Liberali
    Epithelial regeneration can be mediated through activation of stem cells or de-differentiation of post-mitotic cells. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Ohara et al. report that regeneration of damaged intestinal villi occurs via a yes-associated protein 1 (YAP)-dependent adaptive differentiation of transit-amplifying progenitors to a fetal-like state that restores intestinal barrier function.
  • PIWI puts spermatogenesis in its place

    • Amanda G. Charlesworth,
    • Volker Nitschko,
    • Mathias S. Renaud,
    • Julie M. Claycomb
    In this issue of Developmental Cell, Cornes et al. show that piRNAs initiate transcriptional silencing of spermatogenesis genes in the C. elegans germline via an endogenous nuclear RNAi pathway. This silencing enables a timely transition from spermatogenesis to oogenesis during hermaphrodite development, thus promoting fertility.


  • Early human embryonic development: Blastocyst formation to gastrulation

    • Janet Rossant,
    • Patrick P.L. Tam
    There has been recent renewed interest in studying human early embryonic development. The advent of improved culture conditions to maintain blastocysts in vitro for an extended period and the emerging stem-cell-based models of the blastocyst and peri-implantation embryos have provided new information that is relevant to early human embryogenesis. However, the mechanism of lineage development and embryonic patterning, and the molecular pathways involved in their regulation, are still not well understood. Interest in human embryonic development has been reinvigorated recently given numerous technical advances. In this review, Rossant and Tam discuss new insights into human embryogenesis gathered from successes in culturing post-implantation human embryos in vitro and stem-cell-based embryo models. Then they outline what questions still need answering.


  • Adaptive differentiation promotes intestinal villus recovery

    • Takahiro E. Ohara,
    • Marco Colonna,
    • Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck
    Ohara et al. demonstrate that, following injury, intestinal villus cells transiently adopt a unique differentiated state that incorporates a fetal program. Cells in this differentiated state can quickly re-establish the epithelial barrier to help restore the villus architecture.
  • piRNAs initiate transcriptional silencing of spermatogenic genes during C. elegans germline development

    • Eric Cornes,
    • Loan Bourdon,
    • Meetali Singh,
    • Florian Mueller,
    • Piergiuseppe Quarato,
    • Erik Wernersson,
    • Magda Bienko,
    • Blaise Li,
    • Germano Cecere
    Open Access
    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are known to repress foreign transposable elements in animal germlines. Cornes et al. report that piRNAs trigger the transcriptional silencing of endogenous spermatogenic gene expression program during animal development to promote sperm differentiation and functions.
  • Microtubule organizing centers regulate spindle positioning in mouse oocytes

    • Daniela Londoño-Vásquez,
    • Katherine Rodriguez-Lukey,
    • Susanta K. Behura,
    • Ahmed Z. Balboula
    Acentriolar microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) are known for their role in assembling the meiotic spindle. Londoño-Vásquez et al. discover that a subset of cytoplasmic MTOCs (termed mcMTOCs) regulate spindle positioning by anchoring the spindle to the oocyte cortex.
  • YAP1 and PRDM14 converge to promote cell survival and tumorigenesis

    • Miju Kim,
    • Seav Huong Ly,
    • Yingtian Xie,
    • Gina N. Duronio,
    • Dane Ford-Roshon,
    • Justin H. Hwang,
    • Rita Sulahian,
    • Jonathan P. Rennhack,
    • Jonathan So,
    • Ole Gjoerup,
    • Jessica A. Talamas,
    • Maximilien Grandclaudon,
    • Henry W. Long,
    • John G. Doench,
    • Nilay S. Sethi,
    • Marios Giannakis,
    • William C. Hahn
    Multiple cancers are dependent on sustained expression of YAP1 for cell proliferation, survival, and tumorigenesis, but whether other genes can functionally substitute for YAP1 is not clear. Here, Kim et al. show that PRDM14-mediated transcriptional upregulation of CALM2 and SLC2A1 allow YAP1-dependent cancers to survive in the absence of YAP1.
  • Sensing plasma membrane pore formation induces chemokine production in survivors of regulated necrosis

    • Weihong Wang,
    • Joshua S. Prokopec,
    • Yixin Zhang,
    • Maria Sukhoplyasova,
    • Himaly Shinglot,
    • Man-Tzu Wang,
    • Andreas Linkermann,
    • Jacob Stewart-Ornstein,
    • Yi-Nan Gong
    Cells can tolerate sub-lethal plasma membrane pore-forming damage by activating repair mechanisms. Wang et al. show that S660 p-PKCs can sense pore-forming damage by detecting local Ca2+ influx, resulting in chemokine production. This pathway works in parallel with the yeast cell wall integrity pathway and occurs in multiple pathological conditions.
  • RNA N6-methyladenosine modification promotes auxin biosynthesis required for male meiosis in rice

    • Peng Cheng,
    • Shengjie Bao,
    • Chengxiang Li,
    • Jianhua Tong,
    • Lisha Shen,
    • Hao Yu
    N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent internal modification on eukaryotic mRNA. Cheng et al. show that a rice m6A writer interacts with an RNA-binding protein to deposit m6A methylation on an auxin biosynthesis gene, generating a hormonal maximum in anthers that ensures successful male meiosis and fertility.
  • Regulation of reverse electron transfer at mitochondrial complex I by unconventional Notch action in cancer stem cells

    • Rani Ojha,
    • Ishaq Tantray,
    • Suman Rimal,
    • Siddhartha Mitra,
    • Sam Cheshier,
    • Bingwei Lu
    Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. The role of mitochondria in this process remains enigmatic. Ojha et al. show that cancer cells undergo active reverse electron transfer (RET) and that Notch acts in an unconventional manner to regulate RET. Pharmacological inhibition of RET is beneficial in brain tumor models.
  • Compartmentalization of telomeres through DNA-scaffolded phase separation

    • Amanda Jack,
    • Yoonji Kim,
    • Amy R. Strom,
    • Daniel S.W. Lee,
    • Byron Williams,
    • Jeffrey M. Schaub,
    • Elizabeth H. Kellogg,
    • Ilya J. Finkelstein,
    • Luke S. Ferro,
    • Ahmet Yildiz,
    • Clifford P. Brangwynne
    Open Access
    Jack et al. use quantitative imaging and optogenetic approaches to show that shelterin components and telomeric DNA organize into liquid-like condensates in cells. In vitro reconstitution assays reveal that TRF1 and TRF2 drive phase separation of the shelterin complex and regulate access of telomere-associated factors into these condensates.