Contribution of polycomb group proteins to olfactory basal stem cell self-renewal in a novel c-KIT+ culture model and in vivo

Bradley J. Goldstein, Garrett M. Goss, Rhea Choi, Dieter Saur, Barbara Seidler, Joshua M. Hare, Nirupa Chaudhari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Olfactory epithelium (OE) has a lifelong capacity for neurogenesis due to the presence of basal stem cells. Despite the ability to generate short-term cultures, the successful in vitro expansion of purified stem cells from adult OE has not been reported. We sought to establish expansion-competent OE stem cell cultures to facilitate further study of the mechanisms and cell populations important in OE renewal. Successful cultures were prepared using adult mouse basal cells selected for expression of c-KIT. We show that c-KIT signaling regulates self-renewal capacity and prevents neurodifferentiation in culture. Inhibition of TGFβ family signaling, a known negative regulator of embryonic basal cells, is also necessary for maintenance of the proliferative, undifferentiated state in vitro. Characterizing successful cultures, we identified expression of BMI1 and other Polycomb proteins not previously identified in olfactory basal cells but known to be essential for self-renewal in other stem cell populations. Inducible fate mapping demonstrates that BMI1 is expressed in vivo by multipotent OE progenitors, validating our culture model. These findings provide mechanistic insights into the renewal and potency of olfactory stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4394-4404
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016



  • BMI1
  • KIT
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfaction
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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