About this Research Topic
Carefully coordinated cellular signaling is necessary to maintain and direct cellular properties essential for stem cell function, such as quiescence, self-renewal, activation, and differentiation. While intrinsic signaling is critical for stem cell regulation, stem cells also have the capacity to integrate local stimuli from the surrounding microenvironment or niche. Adhesion receptor and growth factor receptor signals generated at the plasma membrane are modulated both spatially and temporally by the compartmentalization of the membrane. Therefore, understanding how macromolecules influence the organization of plasma membrane receptors and intracellular signaling molecules is key to controlling stem cell function. Well known mediators of membrane compartmentalization include membrane scaffold proteins such as tetraspanins, proteoglycans including syndecans, caveolae and lipid domains or lipid rafts. A mechanistic understanding of how membrane scaffold proteins and microdomain organization regulate stem cells is essential to achieve the goal of uncovering the basic properties of and ultimately, targeting stem cell functions.
In this Research Topic, we aim to tackle the question of how membrane compartmentalization is regulated in stem cells (normal/neoplastic/adult/embryonic) and how this regulation impacts stem cell properties. Moreover, advances in fluorescence imaging technologies now allow for the investigation of membrane scaffold organization and regulation with tremendous mechanistic detail. Imaging at the nanoscale coupled with analyses of in vivo stem cell functions will extend our understanding of how the organization of specific proteins and bioactive lipids through clustering and segregation support localized signaling to regulate stem cell processes.
In this Research Topic, we welcome both Review and Original Research articles that cover promising, recent, and novel research trends focused on the membrane compartmentalization of stem cells and downstream signaling consequences. We seek contributions from investigators exploring various membrane organization mechanisms including but not limited to a) tetraspanins, b) syndecans, c) caveolae and d) lipid rafts.
Additionally, papers covering the spatiotemporal signaling that occurs downstream of membrane scaffolds to regulate stem cell functions are highly encouraged.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.